The reality about funding education
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Principals throughout the island have been trying to make their pitch to parents that their contribution is in fact needed if their schools are to continue to fund their programmes.
Yet many parents remain unconvinced of the dire straits in which schools are. Although Mr Ruel Reid has been sacked as the minister of education, the impact of his deleterious campaign to discourage parents from contributing to their children’s education, which has the tacit support of the Government, still resonates.
For fear of retribution, many principals have cowered in silence as the minister’s political leverage increased and their funds dwindled. Dr Rayon Smith’s article in The Sunday Gleaner clearly details the extent of the minister’s vicious attacks on those who challenged him.
Now, The Gleaner has published what schools have long known that even monies that were promised through the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) have not been disbursed. Schools are in a shambolic state because of the poor handling of funds and policy directions championed by the ex-minister.
Although it has now been revealed that the minster was quite disingenuous, parents still cling to the convenient ‘truth’ that schools are adequately funded. They are not. The Government of Jamaica must be commended for its determination that all students receive an education.
However, for students to receive a very good education, we must all work together. It is my hope that a robust effort will be made to encourage parents to contribute to their children’s education in the next academic year and that tuition fees promised to schools under the CAP programme are made available. It may not be politically expedient, but it is the right thing to do.