Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Let my baby graduate! - Cash-strapped parents still demanding ceremony for infants

Published:Sunday | June 14, 2015 | 6:10 AM
Dorothy Mason-Balmer (centre), principal of Allman Town Infant School, enjoys time with somer of her young charges.

There will be no graduation exercise at the Allman Town Infant School this year as most parents failed to handover the $6,000 graduation fee by the deadline set by the administration. However despite the struggle to find the money, most parents have expressed disappointment at the school’s decision to cancel.

According to principal of the school, Dorothy Mason-Balmer, while a graduation ceremony is not important for basic school children, many parents demand this exercise despite the cost.

“For me personally I don't think a graduation is important, but parents have created a culture where they want to see their little babies go off and so they are the ones excited about it, so we had discussions with them telling them exactly what the costs go towards and the majority of the parents were in agreement.”
Mason-Balmer explained that the $6,000 fee included venue rental, gown rental, package pictures as well as tokens for the students and friends of the school.

However promises made by the parents were never met, as the date for the payment of these funds passed with the parents of only five of the 43 children making the requested contribution, forcing the schools administration to cancel the ceremony.

“Many of the parents said they just couldn't find the money, but they were disappointed that we decided to cancel and asked for more time to make the payments.  But I said to them if you don't have it there is no use for you to keep pushing yourselves," explained Mason-Balmer.

"Let the children go off and have fun with their friends, after all these children are going to primary schools, they are going to need books, and pencils, why spend $6,000 if you don't have it.”