Parents of children at the Playgroup, Nursery and Primary levels of Mae’s say they were shocked to receive notices just before school closed for Easter, stating that school fees for the Christmas Term will be increased by up to 42% depending on the Grade. The breakdown is as follows:
Playgroup From 35,000 per term to 50,000 (42%)
Nursery 45,000 to 60,000 (33%)
Primary Grades 1 – 4 60,000 to 75,000 (25%)
Grade 5 70,000 (60,000 + 10,000 lessons fee)
Grade 6 70,000 (60,000 + 10,000 lessons fee) to 80,000 (60,000 + 20,000 lessons fee) (14%)
The parents say they have since formed themselves into a group of concerned parents and had written a formal letter to the school’s Administrator, Stacey French, asking for justification for the increase in light of the removal of VAT on private education.
French’s response was that their costs to do business have increased as well as the challenge of hiring teachers who are both motivated and experienced, in addition to overall operational costs. However, the parents say there is no mention of the direct improvement to the school’s existing facilities such as poor ventilation and washroom facilities.
The parents in a release to the media made three demands:
* We call for a meeting to be held with the school’s administration and the parents to discuss our concerns and a resuscitated PTA
* We call for a decrease in the percentage of the fee raise to under 14% across the board
* We call for a regulatory body to be set up by the relevant authority to oversee the operation of Private Schools in Guyana since it is a highly unregulated sector with little or no consumer protection or relevant legislation.