Education
JM | Jul 19, 2022

No child should be barred from school because of registration fees

Mikala Johnson

Mikala Johnson / Our Today

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Monday September 5 marks the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.

Many parents are currently in preparation mode to get their children ready for school, but many, especially single parents, may encounter some challenges, including finding registration fees.

Over the years, parents have described the fees charged by some institutions, mainly high schools, as excessive.

The Ministry of Education and Youth has issued a bulletin informing school administrators that the cost of the school registration package at the secondary level should be no more than $6,000.

In the meantime, in observance of the ministry’s mandate of ensuring that the cost to parents remains minimal for all children to attend school, or access their education, there should be no cost for registration at the primary level.

“Every child has a right to an education, and the State and those who act on behalf of the State should ensure that this right is not breached, irrespective of their social and economic circumstances or our personal views on same.”

Bulletin from the Ministry of Education and Youth

In the document, it is noted that “every child has a right to an education, and the State and those who act on behalf of the State should ensure that this right is not breached, irrespective of their social and economic circumstances or our personal views on same”.

For that reason, school administrators are asked to adhere to the following: there should be no increase in “parent contribution” for the academic year 2022-2023; all charges for registration packages must first be approved by the education ministry before they become effective; a breakdown of what the registration package covers should be clearly outlined to parents/guardians.

GIVE CONSIDERATION TO ECONOMIC REALITIES OF PARENTS

It was also stated that use should be made of the virtual spaces (online) to reduce the need to charge for printed materials; and consideration must be given to the expressed economic realities of parents, especially since Jamaica is in the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also of note is that non-payment of fees cannot and should not affect students’ or parents’ acceptance of school placement or registration for school; school administrators should work with parents to establish flexible payment schedules/plans for services or materials that must be procured, such as physical education gears, insurance, ties, badges, uniforms.

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