Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Wolmer's Boys defends $5,000 charge for Career Day

Published:Wednesday | February 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Wolmer's Boys School in Kingston.

The Wolmer's Boys' School administration is defending its decision to charge students a total of $5,000 for their Career Day and luncheon package, which will be held in April.

A letter that The Gleaner received from a disgruntled parent showed that students are being asked to pay $5,000 to their respective form teacher, which will cover the Career Day package and a catered lunch for the student and a parent. If both parents wish to attend, it will cost an additional $2,000.

Kirk Rochester, grade coordinator for third form, explained that hosting such an event was not cheap, but noted that the school did its best to minimise the cost. He also told The Gleaner that parents were aware from the beginning of the semester.

"It's catered lunch, it's not the regular box lunch that they will be getting. It was mentioned at previous meetings that we have had and it is something that we have done over the years. We had stopped for a while because of complaints. However, we did it last year and students paid $4,500. Whatever they are paying will not cover the true cost. We also have to get booklets and other items that are not necessarily cheap," he said.

Rochester added, "Last year was successful. Parents did complain initially about the cost, but they eventually came around. I didn't necessarily get any complaints this year but I've heard that when the letter was sent out, persons were complaining. I have made it clear, though, that if there are any issues, I am open to working with everyone."

Rochester also said that no student will be prevented from participating should they have difficulty paying the fees.

"We are aware that there are students who will not be able to afford it and those students are covered. None of our students will be turned away because they can't afford to pay," he stated.

President of the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica, Everton Hannam, noted that the only difficulty he would have is if parents were not informed during the orientation period.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com