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  • The Government will provide an additional $600 million in tuition to secondary schools during the second week of September.
  • In June, the first payment of more than $1.4 billion was disbursed, enabling the early preparation by schools for the new academic year.
  • Minister Reid indicated that $460 million will be provided to primary schools this academic year.

The Government will provide an additional $600 million in tuition to secondary schools during the second week of September.

This represents the second tranche of the $3.9 billion in increased tuition support to schools for the 2016/17 academic year, following the Government’s decision to abolish auxiliary fees at the secondary level.

In June, the first payment of more than $1.4 billion was disbursed, enabling the early preparation by schools for the new academic year.  The Government is providing $5.3 billion to institutions for school operations. This is separate and apart from the commitment for the payment of academic and support staff

Speaking at a back-to-school press conference at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices in Kingston on August 31, Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said the payment of the third tranche will be received before December.

He said the disbursement of funds by the Ministry to secondary institutions represents an increase to $19,000 per student from $11,500.

“Guidelines have been sent to schools regarding the new School Support Contribution policy and to reinforce the Ministry’s non-obligatory policy towards the payment of parents’ contribution,” he pointed out.

He added that parents are encouraged to contribute to their schools once agreement has been reached and approved by the board of governors.

With regards to primary schools, the Minister informed that they have received their first term grants and maintenance payments. The maintenance grants for these institutions have been increased by 90 per cent.

Minister Reid indicated that $460 million will be provided to primary schools this academic year.

He noted that the Government is committed to providing increased funding at the early-childhood and primary levels.

“We are going to have a consortium through the National Education Trust to raise funds for the primary sector,” he noted, adding that a number of corporate institutions have been contributing to primary institutions.

Turning to the matter of special education, Senator Reid said the Ministry’s Special Education Unit will place 133 new students at a cost of $16.8 million for the 2016/17 academic year.

He said the Ministry is satisfied with the state of readiness for the 2016/17 academic year, which begins on Monday, September 5.

“We are convinced that all is in place for us to have a very successful year,” he said.