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Education Ministry sends warning to Headteachers about soliciting fees from Parents – 28th Jun 2013

shot0010The Ministry of Education says it receives numerous complaints from parents regarding the amount of money requested by teachers and Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) for various school-based activities and for various supplies.  Specifically, the cost of graduation exercises has been excessive for many pupils and students. Additionally, parents are being requested from time to time, to supply schools with toilet paper, soap, hand towels, paper for printing exams, and so on.

Today, the Ministry said parents should not be made to pay more than $3, 000 for graduation exercises. The Ministry said no student should be required to rent or purchase caps and gowns for graduation, that such costs where necessary, should be borne by the school.

Further, the Ministry said students should not be prevented from school-based graduation activities because of non-payment of fees.

In relation to exams, the Ministry said no Headteacher, member of the staff or the PTA, is authorized to charge parents specific sums for Tests or End-of-Term examination papers. The Ministry said such funds can be raised through various fundraising activities, for example, cake sales, fairs, and so on, but, should not be directly solicited from parents. Further, no Headteacher or member of staff is authorized to request parents to supply schools with toilet tissue, soap, or paper for printing.

The Ministry warned that if Head teachers are indulging in acts that contravene guidelines they will stand before the “Disciplinary Committee’ of the Teaching Service Commission. Similarly, if an Education Officer condones such illegal behavior they too will stand before the Public Service Commission, the Ministry stated.

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