JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has assured that adequate funds have been disbursed to support the operations of high schools islandwide for the 2016/17 academic year.

 

He was speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House on Wednesday (October 26), where he provided an update on the Government’s tuition policy.

 

Senator Reid said two tranches of the $3.9 billion of budgeted tuition support, totalling more than $1 billion, were paid in June and September and advised that a third, scheduled for December, will be paid in the next couple of days.

 

He said the funding has provided support for 761 academic and 153 non-academic staff members across the Ministry’s six educational regions. He indicated that the overall budget for the remainder of the year was $502.5 million.

 

“So, the secondary system is well funded this year. Even where schools were (initially) concerned … we made sure to give them additional funding for key staffing that they required and that also bolstered their overall funding availability,” the Minister said.

 

The Government’s overall funding support for the education sector has increased from $2.5 billion to $5.5 billion for the current academic year.

 

This is consequent on the abolition of compulsory auxiliary fee payments in high schools. Parents are encouraged to make voluntary contributions to the institutions.

 

“We think it was a very successful campaign and we are going to be holding (school administrators) to account in terms of raising standards and performance,” Senator Reid said.

 

Meanwhile, Senator Reid advised that an announcement regarding a comprehensive programme of transformation for the early-childhood sector and the attendant funding support will be made at the start of the 2017/18 fiscal year, next April.

 

CAPTIONS: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid