St Mary’s RC School  to charge school fee
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January 15, 2013

St Mary’s RC School to charge school fee

There are some questions about the introduction this term of a fee for students at the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School in Kingstown. {{more}}
Parents/guardians of students at the school were informed in December that they will this term have to begin paying $75 a month or $200 a term for each student enrolled at the school.

Households with more than one child at the primary school would pay $50 per month for each student.

The school, citing increased costs, said in a December 3, 2012 letter, signed by principal Eula Johnny and manager Monsignor Michael Stewart, that “in order to accommodate the many parents who wanted their children educated by us, our school community incurred a debt which has to be serviced monthly in the tune of $10,700.

“In fact had we reduced the school’s population including the yearly intake without the purchase of the property that now accommodates almost two hundred children, we would not have been having expansion woes,” the letter further stated, adding that the circumstance informed the introduction of the fees.

The letter said the monies will also aid in the refurbishment of the Science and Information and Communications Technology Labs and will also pay for the services of an art teacher, a reading specialist, a music, and a physical education teacher.

“Additionally, your financial commitment will ensure that Grade Six is housed on the main school compound, contribute to the rebuilding of the newly acquired building to better accommodate our children and provide the funds to construct a river defence in order to prevent water from further eroding the land underneath the building,” the letter stated.

With the new fees parents would no longer be required to pay the $25 service fee and the parent-teacher association monthly subscription of $5, the letter indicated.

SEARCHLIGHT failed in its attempts to reach Monsignor Stewart and Principal Johnny declined comment yesterday.

Meanwhile, Nicole Bonadie-Baker, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, was yet to respond to an email request for comment at press time yesterday.

SEARCHLIGHT, in its email to the permanent secretary, wanted to ascertain the relationship of the school with the government. This publication wanted to know specifically whether St Mary’s is a private, government-assisted or government-owned school and the criteria informing such classification.

SEARCHLIGHT also wanted the education official to say whether the ministry was aware of and had approved the fees.