With the announcement of the start date for the new academic year the Minister of Education is appealing to the various schools to be lenient with parents when it comes to tuition. Minister Faber noted that he is making this appeal on behalf of parents who are struggling amid the Covid-19 dilemma. He added, however, that there are parents who can afford to pay and are taking advantage of the situation. For those parents, he also made an appeal.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports: “As it relates to registration fees we ask the same thing, for them to new lenient in terms of collecting those fees. I ask as well though the parents to be mindful that schools need money to operate and if you can’t pay that’s one thing but there’s some people who don’t want to pay and who believe that somebody else should paying. Education is a very expensive commodity and so I have to understand the school’s position when they’re saying ‘We need monies to operate.’ When schools don’t get their monies they are not able to provide some of the very basic things that they provide and I know that our teachers take a licking when that happens because they have to sometimes take money out of their pockets in order to provide some of these things. Our teachers, God bless them, are some of the unsung heroes of our society especial of the education system but if parents do their part then this will make it easier. Schools quite often expect a bulk payment at the start of the school year because it is like pulling teeth to get the payments later on. Parents make everything a priority rather than paying for their children’s education so my appeal is two sided this morning as it relates to those fees.”
Another appeal made by the minister was to the schools’ administrations. This had to do with the safety and sanitization protocols at schools once classes resume.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports: There are a number of ways in which parents and members of the public can assist the schools in their community. We’re asking for donations of equipment or labour to install repair sink or makeshift hand washing stations. We’re asking for support for the donating of cleaning and disinfecting supplies and equipment for example; soap, detergent, soap powder, bleach, mops, mop buckets, hand sanitizer, disinfectant sprays paper towels, cleaning cloth, gloves etc. We’re asking for our parents in the wider members of the public to volunteer to clean and set up classroom, installing social distance markers and office space dividers. We’re asking their assistance and printing and posting signage etc and we’re asking the parents and the public support us to monitor and report observed health and sanitation issues to schools or the Ministry of Education authorities.
Persons who are able to assist schools with sanitization supplies and other materials are asked to contact the Ministry of Health hotline or the specific school they wish to assist.