JIS: Education, Youth and information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has reiterated the Government’s position that no student must be turned away from school because of non-payment of fees.
Addressing the ninth annual conference of the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica (NPAJ), held at St. Hilda’s High School in St. Ann on Saturday (November 26), Minister Reid said the Administration remains adamant that there should be no mandatory fees charged by schools.
“We want to make sure that there are no barriers for students accessing education at either the primary or secondary level,” he said.
He informed that in preparation for the 2017/18 academic year, a committee will be put in place to work with principals of all schools to ensure that the fee structure is standardised.
“We are at pains to say that uniforms, epaulettes, students’ handbooks…tie pins are not …to be on any voucher. The school must find other means…there are some schools that have gotten themselves into trouble by confusing the parents,” he noted.
On the matter of insurance for students, Minister Reid said this is being given consideration, noting that the views of the various education stakeholders will be taken on board.
“I am prepared… to look at how we are going to support those on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) to help them with their insurance. Those of you who are not on the PATH programme, we will have to discuss how you are going to fund that, but I cannot allow schools to bar students from attending school because they did not pay the insurance,” Senator Reid said.
The Education, Youth and Information Minister reminded the conference participants that PTA dues are also not mandatory and is encouraging such bodies to establish their own financial accounts separate from those of the schools.
CAPTION: The Ministry of Education’s main office, 2 National Heroes Circle