Mr. Speaker, as we prepare for the new school year during this time of crisis, it is extremely important that all stakeholders work collaboratively with the best interest of our students in mind. The exorbitant fees being requested by some schools are untenable and school administrators are encouraged not to pursue any increase in these fees for the 2020/2021 academic year.

I would like to use this opportunity to remind school administrators of the non-mandatory fee policy for Infant, Primary and Secondary Educational Institutions. The Ministry’s philosophy is that public education should be properly funded by government while encouraging stakeholders to make voluntary contributions.

The MoEYI will continue to fund schools through the provision of grants to be distributed in four tranches: April, June, September and December in keeping with our long term goal of ensuring equity, access for all and the provision of quality education.

Mr. Speaker, the parent contribution charges should be reasonable and reflect consideration for the challenges our parents are facing during the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students should not be denied entry to schools because of their parents’ inability to pay. Parents must not be forced to pay any contribution or made to feel as if they must pay the contribution as a requirement for registration, school access/attendance or criteria for graduation, examination slips, application to Sixth Form or access to any public service at a public educational institution.

Registration packages for students should be no more than $5000 for this school year and should outline what the package entails to justify the need for the fees. Items that attract a cost such as IDs, Insurance, PE Uniforms and School Ties should not be included in the registration package. These should be itemized for purchase separately.

Mr. Speaker, where there is need for further clarity concerning on the matter, school administrators and other stakeholders should not hesitate to contact their Regional Office.

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