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Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Education is reminding schools that graduation exercises should be made as conservative as possible, to avoid unnecessary expense to parents.
  • Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Grace McLean, said while graduation is important as a feel good exercise, it is not a component of the curriculum or a compulsory requirement.
  • She is recommending that no graduation package should cost more than $8,000 at the secondary level and even less at the early childhood and primary levels.

The Ministry of Education is reminding schools that graduation exercises should be made as conservative as possible, to avoid unnecessary expense to parents.

Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Grace McLean, said while graduation is important as a feel good exercise, it is not a component of the curriculum or a compulsory requirement.

She is recommending that no graduation package should cost more than $8,000 at the secondary level and even less at the early childhood and primary levels.

“It has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Education that despite the Ministry’s instructions, schools continue to engage in the practice of placing heavy demands on parents to purchase expensive graduation packages that cover gowns, corsages and other frivolities,” Dr. McLean told JIS News.

“We are asking schools to try to work out arrangements where the students can graduate in their uniforms; and look closely at the costs for corsages, rings and other symbols of graduation to make a determination as to whether the parents can afford these,” she added.

On the registration of students for the new school year, the Chief Education Officer said school administrators should desist from charging exorbitant fees.

She noted that the Ministry has been receiving numerous complaints on this issue. Dr. McLean is urging schools to be mindful of the current economic situation of most parents and make the cost of registration as minimal as possible.

The Chief Education Officer also reiterated that the Ministry has a no tuition policy at the primary level and therefore schools are provided with grants for different operational activities.

“While schools may indicate that grants are inadequate, so they are charging fees to supplement the grant, this must be brought immediately to the attention of the regional offices, so that the education officers can review their budget. Where there is need for additional funds based on what has been presented, the Ministry will make sure that this is provided through the grants they received,” Dr. McLean said.

The Ministry is also reminding administrators at secondary level institutions that auxiliary fees should remain the same.

Dr. McLean said that in exceptional cases, the administrators need to write to the Ministry for a review to be done and approval given before auxiliary fees are increased.