Williams: Don’t pressure parents for school fees
With classes being held online when schools reopen on October 5, Education Minister Fayval Williams says that no demand or pressure should be placed on parents to pay contributory fees.
Speaking at a digital press conference this afternoon, Williams said parents are instead encouraged to use the money to purchases devices, books, and data plans for educational purposes.
“Parents have been raising concerns regarding parental contributions to schools, it is not mandatory and parents should not be made to feel that they must pay. The policy of this Government is that no student should be denied access to education because of their inability to contribute,” she said.
Williams says the ministry decided against face-to-face teaching of classes out of concern for safety and health in light of the COVID-19 crisis, which has seen Jamaica record 5,270 cases, with 3,668 of them being active, and 75 deaths, as of Monday.
Instead, teaching will be conducted online.
Williams said that this will be supported by educational lessons being provided on television stations, radio, and cable channels.
Printed materials along with worksheets and textbooks will also be provided to students.
These items will be delivered at a drop-off point.
Williams said the Government has moved to boost Internet connections at schools and in communities, as well as provide tablet computers to teachers and students.
The education minister said effort is being made to see what other assistance can be provided to help parents procure devices.
Meanwhile, Williams said that the school-feeding programme will continue.
- Jerome Reynolds
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