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Terrelonge says 'auxiliary fees' abolished, urges education for all

Sunday, August 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — State Minister Alando Terrelonge, saying that the Education Ministry has abolished the term 'Auxiliary Fees' and replaced it with 'Parent Support Contribution',  is calling for continued efforts in making education accessible and affordable to all. 

 “There are complaints that we receive every year at this time regarding what used to be called auxiliary fees and the ministry has taken the policy position to not only abolish the term and replace it with words more representative of what the fees are, and also to set certain guidelines for the contributions from parents,” Terrelonge said in a release today.

According to the state minister, a bulletin was distributed by the Acting Chief Education Officer, Winnie Berry, to all schools outlining the ministry's position on fees, disbursements and additional resources for schools.

Regarding the Parent Support Contribution, the bulletin stated that:

·  Students should not be denied entry to schools because of their parents' inability to pay. The policy is that contribution cannot be mandatory and must not be a requirement for registration, school access/attendance or criteria for graduation, examination slips, application to sixth form, or access to any public service at a public educational institution.

·  No more than $5,000 is allowed to be charged for registration packages for new students for this academic year.

·  Schools should discuss and get approval from their Regional Director for the categories that will fall on the school payment voucher.

·   Parents must not be forced to pay a contribution.

·   Schools are asked not to combine the cost of consumables into the cost of packages and mandate payment from parents for the full cost. For example, a charge in packages for five school crests when the parent might not require or may not be able to afford five at once.

·   Schools falling short of funds during the course of the year can write to the Permanent Secretary, requesting consideration for additional support to close the deficit. This letter must be accompanied by all the supporting documentation and a reply will be provided within ten working days of receipt.

Terrelonge further outlined that additional support is being allocated for students on the PATH programme in an effort to make the educational system more equitable to all.

He explained that changes are reportedly being made to the funding formula to increase financing for schools based on three factors. These are the low attainment level on entry, schools with students having the greatest level of difficulty in learning and those with low socio-economic backgrounds.

 


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