Schools get go-ahead to request contributions from parents
Education Minister, Senator Ruel Ried, says schools can continue to ask parents to contribute to their institutions' development, but these fees must not be mandatory.
Senator Reid says the Ministry will approve how much the schools can ask parents to contribute on an individual basis after discussion and careful consideration.
He emphasises that use of auxiliary fees is not the way to fund schools adding that the idea of mandatory fees for access to public education must be frowned on.
According to him, a significant portion of the auxiliary fees currently go towards consumables, such as physical education gear, overalls and coats, and support materials.
He says students should be required to purchase these directly for themselves and they should be sold through PTAs.
The education minister says schools must strive to stick to their core business of teaching and learning, adding that it will be the focus of the ministry’s funding regime to schools.
He says the ministry will ensure that the school is adequately funded based on the cost to operate the school taking into consideration the core of education that the Ministry is responsible for.
The education minister was speaking this morning at a forum with school principals in Kingston on the removal of auxiliary fees come September.