Ministry must halt GSAT teacher greed
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Years ago when the GSAT examinations came into existence, the then minister of education suggested that the exorbitant prices the teachers were charging for extra lessons would be eliminated. Also, the minister said the syllabus for the various subjects would be taught during regular-school hours. This phenomenon occurred for the first few years of that examination. Now GSAT greed has taken precedence.
Picture this: A school on Red Hills Road summoned the parents of the grade six students to a meeting and presented the following package to them. Extra classes will be held from Mondays through Thursdays 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. at a cost of $800 per week ($3,200 per month). Then, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is a late class after extra lessons which runs from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. at a cost of $4,000 per month.
On Saturdays, classes begin at 9 a.m and end at 1:30 p.m. this costs $800 per month. This amounts to $10,400 for each child per month. There are four grade six classes with approximately 42 students in each class ($10,40042 =$436,800). If that amount is multiplied by four teachers, GSAT fees would amount to $1,747,200. This is big business. The readers can complete the other calculations.
What happens to those parents who want their child to succeed but are unemployed? What happens to the parents who have three or more school-age children? Remember that the lunch money and the bus fare are not in this package.
As I understand, it many GSAT-sitting schools are engaged in this form of greed. I believe that the school boards need to step in and the Ministry of Education must stop turning a blind eye to what is taking place in these schools. It is little wonder that after these long and tedious hours of drilling, some of these 12-year-olds are burnt out. Please, Ministry of Education, stop the GSAT greed.