Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Schools threatened with disciplinary action if auxiliary fees are mandatory

Published:Friday | August 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Kenyon Hemans / Photographer Education minister, Ruel Reid

The minister of education is reminding school administrators that there should be no mandatory fees for students entering grades 7-11, threatening disciplinary action against any institution that ignores that directive.

Ruel Reid was speaking at a back-to-school press conference at the ministry's Heroes Circle offices in Kingston yesterday, revealing that he had to call in three schools earlier this year for demanding mandatory fees from parents.

Far more schools were called in last year for the same offence and had disciplinary action taken against them, he said.

"Where we have seen breaches, we have called in the boards and principals. We have asked them to reverse certain decisions. We have looked at their literature in terms of communication and where

we think that they haven't communicated properly to the stakeholders. We have crafted a sample letter which said that you are asking for a contribution and not a mandatory payment," said Reid.

Reid was firm in stating that rules and guidelines set out by the Government must be adhered to and not ignored.

"In the regulation, we could put it as an offence, where the ministry has given a directive and administrators breach it. It could be a disciplinary offence, and in the JTC (Jamaica Teaching Council) bill, it could also constitute professional misconduct where persons could lose their licence if you breach because we have been saying to school boards and administrators, we need to regard and respect," said Reid.

The minister, however, urged parents to make whatever contribution they could to the schools.

The education ministry is providing a total of $8.4 billion to schools for the 2018-2019 academic year.

carlene.davis@gleanerjm.com