JTA calls for increased funding for primary, early childhood education
The Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) is calling for the government to significantly increase its monetary support for early childhood and primary schools.
The government has increased its monetary allocation to secondary schools from $2.6 billion to $5.3 billion and has abolished the payment of auxiliary fees by parents.
However, opposition spokesman on Education, Ronald Thwaites has since urged the government to also spend more on primary and early childhood education as greater support is needed at these levels.
President-elect of the JTA Howard Issacs says the JTA would also like to see greater support for primary and early childhood education as government funding at these levels is not significant.
Isaacs says more funding for primary and early childhood education would greatly enhance the education that children receive in preparation for high school.
Jamaican laws give children universal access to primary education.
However, the opposition spokesman on education says all primary schools have been asking parents to pay contributions because of severe under-funding.
The education ministry is investigating the claim.
The Education Minister, Ruel Reid, says the ministry has increased the maintenance grants to these institutions and he has promised further increases next school year.