Jun 30, 2010

Education|St Augustine pupils must pay $300 fee

'There should be no fees charged for any registrations or whatsoever......we are going to send out another circular and anybody found in contempt of that we will have to determine what should be done about it ... because parents should not be forced to have to pay for something in the schools. The school system is free,’ Gopeesingh said at the launch of the government’s Clean and Beautify Trinidad and Tobago project at Crowne Plaza last Friday.

The requirements to register seen to have taken on new meaning for the school located in St. Augustine where a demand for $300.00 has been made as part of the registration process. Now don't get me wrong here I do understand the reason for the school asking for the additional funding but in this case they are asking the wrong people for the money.

Many of the students who were successful applicants after the passing the SEA examination received their welcome letter with the demand for the additional funding. This demand goes against the wishes of the Ministry of Education and the demand by the Minister that no registration fees should by paid by parents to government funded schools. Now we have a problem. The staff of the school obviously sees the need for the extra funding but would it not have been better to approach the Ministry for the additional funding in the first place? If that failed then they have the summer vacation period to raise the needed funds. 

Parents should have been asked to assist with the funding instead of it being part of the registration process. Many of the successful students come from poor families who may not be able to readily provide this funding as part of the registration process. Something has to give but at the same time I have to wonder about the process as it applies to the rest of the government funded schools. Do they have the same problem? This new government will act and it is in the interest of the school's principal to rescind that demand and come up with another plan. 

We all want the best for our children but there is only so much that many of the parents can afford. Maybe some of our readers can come up with an action plan to help support the efforts of this school to provide the quality of education with the required tools to get the job done for our children. We don't need conflict we need a smooth transition from primary to high school for these successful students - time to relieve stress not create undue hardships for the parents.






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