Despite what the Education Minister says schools are charging fees

Dear Editor,

The August 5, 2011 Stabroek News carried an article headlined ‘Students cannot be debarred for non- payment of registration fees.’  The Minister should be told, they are being debarred.

This is the burden that parents are facing now that school is about to re-open. Some parents were told on the day of the registration that they had to pay a registration fee through the bank before their children could be enrolled, while other parents paid directly to the schools. The Minister has said that he sent a circular to all senior education officers and headteachers, as well as all public schools, including practical instructional centres, informing them that children have the right to school without preconditions. The note stated that headteachers and teachers are not permitted to request monetary donations from parents, members of the community, private or public agencies or other sources.

These are some of the schools where we have been told, fees are being charged:

Stella Maris Nursery, $3000 for PTA and $1500 for games clothes;

St Christopher Nursery, $2500 for PTA and $2000 for games clothes;

St Roses High, $15,000;

Central High, $7000;

North Georgetown Secondary, $5000;

East Ruimveldt Secondary, $5000;

Dolphin Secondary, $6200;

Charlestown Secondary, $4000;

Freeburg Secondary, $3500;

Tucville Secondary, $5500;

We have no doubt that there are others.

Parents are afraid to speak out because their child or children will be punished. Instead of sitting in his office and passing rules, the Minister should get out there and see that they are followed.

Yours faithfully,
Susan Collymore
Shirley Safeek
Joycelyn Bacchus
Joy Marcus
GWAR and Red Thread

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