JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Principal of the Spanish Town High School, Ventley Brown, has described a move by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to increase its budgetary support to schools as welcome and valuable.
  • The principal said that with this support, his school is now far advanced in its preparations for the start of the new school year on Monday, September 5.
  • Immediate Past Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) President of the Jonathan Grant High School, Rose-Marie Headley Smith, also hailed the move by the Government to remove mandatory auxiliary fees, noting that this will provide “a way out” for many parents.

Principal of the Spanish Town High School, Ventley Brown, has described a move by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to increase its budgetary support to schools as welcome and valuable.

Speaking on a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) television Back-to-School Special Forum, Mr. Brown said this will increase by over 50 per cent the school’s cash flow.

This he said is significant, considering that, previously, there was only a one per cent compliance rate for collection of auxiliary fees of $2,000 per student.

With the fees no longer mandatory, the Government has this year increased its tuition support, maintenance grants and funding for operational costs to a total of $5.3 billion. The first tranche of $1.4 billion was paid over to schools in June and a second payment of $600 million will be paid over in September.

The principal said that with this support, his school is now far advanced in its preparations for the start of the new school year on Monday, September 5.

“We have a very good technical and vocational component in the school, so the chairs, benches and desks were (refurbished) at school. But having received that first tranche (of payment) in June, it placed us in a better position to purchase what we need for September,” Mr. Brown said.

Mr. Brown noted that $5 million has also been provided to the school, which has a population of 2,400 students, for construction of two new classrooms to assist in a changeover from the shift system.

He added that the school has also received funding through the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Rationalization project, which is a collaborative initiative of the Education Ministry and HEART Trust/NTA. The project provided $2.5 million for the school’s science labs, $1.5 million towards its auto-mechanics programme and $1 million for the home economics programme.

Mr. Brown said he is also working closely with the Ministry’s Regional Director to set up a computer lab at the institution.

Immediate Past Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) President of the Jonathan Grant High School, Rose-Marie Headley Smith, also hailed the move by the Government to remove mandatory auxiliary fees, noting that this will provide “a way out” for many parents.

“We welcome it. I just want to see that there is no compromise in the operational system of the schools,” she said.

She urged parents to be engaged in the dialogue, and be involved in the operations of the schools that their children attend.