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Back-to-school Corner: Tips to get you prepared

Published:Sunday | August 13, 2017 | 12:00 AM

As you get ready to send the children back to school, here are some important tips from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information:

Back-to-school activities can be extremely hectic. As the new school year approaches, we are faced with the task of buying books, paying school fees, making uniforms, and the list goes on. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information seeks to make your back-to-school journey easier by providing you with relevant information.


The ministry's aim is to ensure that all children across Jamaica have access to education. Our mantra states: 'Every child can learn. Every child must learn.' With this mind, we have provided all schools with guidelines regarding non-mandatory auxiliary fees and related matters.

We have encouraged the attendance of students regardless of their inability to pay fees, as stated in our non-mandatory fees policy. The Government, through the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) has provided support to those facing financial challenges. With regard to the registration of students, we have indicated that packages should range from $1,000 to $5,000. Schools have been asked to engage in discussions with the Parent-Teacher Association body regarding the contribution amount being requested. This also means that all school boards are required to review and sign off on all communication to parents to ensure that it is within the guidelines of the ministry's policy.

Book lists

The book list is another concern. The ministry continues to promote the use of high-quality learning material at all levels of education. To ensure that material is suitable for all students, the ministry provides textbooks annually at both the primary and secondary levels. Supplementary books are selected through a committee in each school based on the suitability of the material. Additionally, the supplementary list will ask you to purchase the following: dictionaries, atlases, and technical equipment as needed in the subject area and the grade of your child. All book lists should indicate which books are provided by the ministry, as well as those to be purchased. PATH students are on our agenda as well because we know that purchasing books can be quite challenging. To ease the burden, the ministry has provided literature books to students on PATH in grades seven, 10 and 11 under the National Textbook Loan Scheme.


With Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) students having completed one leg of the race in academia and having now been placed in their respective secondary schools, we are aware that there may be parents who are interested in transferring their children. As such, we would like to guide you on the road to transfer. Before any approval is given for any transfer, the parents or guardians must submit an acceptance letter from the school accepting the child, as well as a release letter from the school at which the child was placed. Additionally, a letter from the parent/ guardian requesting approval for transfer should be addressed to:

The Permanent Secretary,

Ministry of Education,

Attention: Office of the Deputy Chief Education Officer - Schools Operations.

Please note that approval letters will be sent from the Ministry of Education to the accepting and releasing schools within three weeks, or 15 working days from the date received.

For further details please visit our website at or contact us at 922-1400-9.