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President of the National Parent-Teachers’ Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ), Everton Hannam, is urging parents to continue providing financial support to schools after the abolition of auxiliary fees by the Government comes into effect in September 2016.
“If you want your child, your children or ward to be able to participate and contribute to a society and be competitive in the world then you have to make some contribution along the value chain,” Mr. Hannam said in an interview with the JIS.
Mr. Hannam pointed out that the cost for the provision of quality education ought not to be the sole responsibility of the government and acknowledged that there are parents who understand the importance of contributing to the system.
“Most parents are convinced that if they want the quality of education for their children, then somewhere along the line they will have to make a financial contribution. This is why some of them were concerned about whether they would still be able to contribute.”
Meanwhile, the NPTAJ president warned that schools need to provide clarity as to the purpose for which contributions are requested.
“What parents must do is ensure they are getting value for money, and that there is frugality in the expenditure. We are of the firm belief that some expenses are not really appropriate and necessary, and it is done without the consent, understanding, and agreement of many parents.”
Mr. Hannam noted that parents should be advised of the contributions they are going to be required to make for that academic year from early in the school term and that schools ought not to add fees during this period. “
“Don’t come to us in the year and say you want $2,000 and in December you want another $3,000. That is not good.”
He added: “That is what the minister is asking; that budgets are received from principals for the activities that they undertake and the expenditure, so that he can see where it is going. I support that kind of thought,” said Hannam.
Minister of Education, Senator Ruel Reid has announced the removal of auxiliary fees in high schools effective September. As a result the ministry’s subvention for tuition to schools per student will increase from $11,500 to $19,000.