School administrators defend making auxiliary fees mandatory
The umbrella groups representing principals and vice-principals are defending the decision to make auxiliary fees mandatory for secondary schools.
The Jamaica Association of Principals and Vice-principals says the payment of the contentious fees by parents represents a contribution to offset the cost of their children’s education.
The Ministry of Education pays $11,500 per annum for tuition per student.
However, according to Sharon Reid, President of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, while administrators are grateful for the Ministry’s contribution, it is not adequate to cover all the bills that schools face.
She says schools are aware of the financial situation of many parents and have implemented payment plans to assist.
This is supported by Pauline Reid, president of the Association of Principals and Vice-principals who argues that auxiliary fees are absolutely necessary because of its impact on school development.
She acknowledges that the auxiliary fee system is now more structured since there can be no increase without the education ministry’s approval.
Many schools use auxiliary fees to support co-curricular programmes, purchase laboratory equipment, and assist in paying for maintenance services and to procure goods and services not funded by government budgetary allocation.
Opposition Leader and former Education Minister Andrew Holness has come out against the Government’s decision to make auxiliary fees mandatory.
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