RC school ‘not introducing a fee’
January 18, 2013

RC school ‘not introducing a fee’

The money which the parents of pupils attending the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School have been asked to pay is not a fee, but a monetary contribution.{{more}}

Manager of the School Monsignor Michael Stewart, in an email to SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, said “St. Mary’s RC is not introducing a fee. No fee is being charged. It is a monetary contribution, which is not compulsory.”

Stewart said, in responding to “the need for universal access to quality education”, the school purchased a building to increase the capacity of the school.

“This was acquired through a bank loan which is currently being serviced to the tune of $10,700 per month.”

He said a decision was taken at a parent-teacher association meeting of the school, that parents would make a monetary contribution which would help to service the loan.

“The fundraising committee suggested a nominal amount for the monetary contribution; some parents contribute in excess of that amount,” he said.

In a letter to parents dated December 3, 2012, each parent was asked to pay $75 per month or $200 a term. Parents with more than one child were asked to contribute $50 per child per month.

“This contribution must be paid during the first week of each month,” the letter to parents said.

Stewart, in his email, said although making a contribution is not compulsory, “It follows that if all concerned do not regularly contribute, then the school cannot make its payment to the bank and we fail to meet our educational goals.”

The December 3 letter to parents said the contribution will not only go towards servicing the loan, “but it will help to refurbish the Science and Information Communications Technology Labs, offer the service 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…

“St. Mary’s RC depends on the assistance, not only of the government, but of past students, the Catholic and non-Catholic community at large. Indeed, it is only fair that parents and guardians of children presently attending the St. Mary’s RC School share the responsibility with the school in ensuring their children’s education … [is] well balanced and rounded,” Stewart said in his email to SEARCHLIGHT.

He said for 91 years, the school has delivered the highest levels of education to the nation’s children.

Stewart advised that the vision of the school is “to be the best by transforming our school into a centre of excellence for learning and teaching.”

“We look forward to the continued and full support of our parents and the community at large as we strive to deliver the best quality education to our children.”

He also thanked the media, and particularly SEARCHLIGHT, “for drawing public attention to the needs of the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School.”