JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is to allocate $1 billion in budgetary support to primary, all-age and junior high schools for the 2017-2018 academic year.
This is in line with the Ministry’s commitment to provide greater support to schools to improve the quality of education in Jamaica.
A bulletin issued by the Ministry states that all schools at the infant and primary levels will receive $2,500 per student, up from an average of $850.
All-age and junior high schools will get $19,000 per student, up from $1,100.
Schools will also continue to receive a maintenance grant of $50,000 and janitorial grant of $172,000 per school. The money will be disbursed in four tranches beginning this month (June).
The second and third tranches will be given in September and December, respectively, and the final tranche will be handed over in April 2018.
The Ministry will also provide additional teachers for schools that require special support, based on the nature of the students and special programmes being offered.
Selected schools will be fitted with additional classrooms, and some infrastructure upgraded.
Lighting systems in schools will also be upgraded. Beneficiaries under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) at the all-age and junior high levels will be supplied with literature books, and $2,000 will be allocated to each student to cover the cost of identification and uniform-related items.
The Ministry will cover the cost of insurance for PATH beneficiaries and wards of the State.
School administrators are reminded that no fees are to be charged; however, schools should work with parent-teacher associations (PTAs) to determine the level of contribution that parents can afford to assist in the long-term development of the schools, or for special projects.
The bulletin says that for schools which may require additional support, their operating costs will be carefully reviewed and, if necessary, additional allocations will be made within one month of a request.
Meanwhile, schools that fall short of funds, during the course of the year, should write to the Permanent Secretary requesting consideration for additional support.
Schools will be required to submit annual comprehensive income and expenditure statements for all funds received from all sources, followed by an audited financial statement.
CAPTION: In this file photo, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (right), adjusts the collar of a student at Spanish Town High School, during a tour of the institution.