Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Audrey Sewell, has reminded school leaders, especially Principals, that the Government’s policy of not turning away students from schools when auxiliary fees are not paid, must be carried out.
Mrs. Sewell, who was addressing a conference for principals, held at the deCarteret College, in Mandeville, on August 25, said that punishing children whose parents have not paid the auxiliary fees is one way of sowing discord, and that it runs contrary to the policy of the Government.
“The policy is – no student is to be denied registration or turned away if the parents cannot afford to pay the auxiliary fees. Whether we agree with it or not, that’s the policy position of the Ministry,” the Permanent Secretary told the Principals.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Audrey Sewell (left), in discussion with Mayor of Mandeville, Councillor Brenda Ramsay and Regional Director at the Ministry, Winston Guthrie, at a conference for Principals in Mandeville, Manchester, on August 25.
She called on the leaders in schools to fully support the Government’s position on auxiliary fees, and to employ other means to get parents who can afford the fees to comply. “We are never going to have one hundred per cent compliance, but we have to work through our PTAs and other organisations to persuade parents to pay. Sometimes they can’t afford the lump sum payment, so arrange a payment plan,” she said.
Mrs. Sewell said that complaints are coming in, and school leaders should not create problems in the system.
“We have to be in one accord, and if the Government says what the policy is, we have to comply with the direction. Let us work together to make the system what it ought to be,” she emphasised.
Some 200 Principals from private and public schools attended the conference, to look at the regional performance against the national targets; to get an update on the Education Transformation Programme; and to identify critical priorities to ensure the smooth re-opening of schools.