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Story Highlights

  • Over 20,000 students benefitted from the Government's Cost Sharing Programme for the 2002/03 academic year.
  • Of the 20,992 students who benefitted 12,561 had their tuition paid in full while the other 8,431 were paid in part.
  • The Cost Sharing Programme was implemented some nine years ago to assist students at the Secondary School level who are unable to pay the cost of their tuition.

Over 20,000 students benefitted from the Government’s Cost Sharing Programme for the 2002/03 academic year. Of the 20,992 students who benefitted 12,561 had their tuition paid in full while the other 8,431 were paid in part.
The Cost Sharing Programme was implemented some nine years ago to assist students at the Secondary School level who are unable to pay the cost of their tuition. Since then the Government has been spending some $300 million per year in subsidising the programme. The other $700 million to $800 million has been taken up by parents.However, this year the programme will be phased out.

This follows Prime Minister P. J. Patterson’s announcement last year that there would be a gradual phasing out of the programme with full abolition by 2005 where it is expected that students at the secondary level would benefit from free education. Former Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Senator Burchell Whiteman at the time in explaining the phasing out of the programme had said, “the principle is that fees will be frozen at the present levels and that the Government will make up the difference that is needed and reduce the actual cost to the students beginning next year (2003)”. “We will return to a tuition free secondary school system as we are guaranteed that we can sustain the support,” he added.