By Latonya Linton
KINGSTON 7, Jamaica April 21 (JIS) — Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the government will honour its commitment for the removal of auxiliary fees for the academic year 2016/17.
Speaking at the Aspiring Principals’ Program presentation ceremony, held at the Mona Visitors Lodge, University of the West Indies, on April 20, the Minister pointed out that the Ministry will increase the contribution from the current $11,500 to $19,000.
“We will honour our commitment for the next school year. The school year has not changed. It remains September to August. The financial year ends March 31. So, when you look in the current budget you will see the allocation for the period that runs up to March 31…there is $2 billion. So, you can add $2 billion to what is already in the budget, which will cover the other part of the school year,” Senator Reid said.
He said the Ministry will be meeting with all stakeholders, including Principals and the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) regarding the removal of the fees.
The Minister added that once this exercise is completed and principals and other stakeholders have been consulted, the Ministry will “see how we can model this additional resource, and that the term auxiliary fees and the request for auxiliary fees can in fact be extinguished, as we look at other options to ensure that the system is fully funded.”
Senator Reid pointed out that the budget for capital expenditure has moved significantly for this new financial year.
“So, a lot of schools will, at last, experience some capital works. In the 2016/17 budget, the Ministry gets some $2.6 billion for capital spending,” he noted.
Meanwhile, some 78 aspiring principals received their certificates, under the Aspiring Principals’ Program.
Congratulating the graduates, the Minister reminded them that leadership is more than a philosophy.
“Leadership is something that you do. Leadership is like love. It is not so much the ‘saying’ which counts, it is the doing. Leadership is action. I implore all the members of this graduation class to go back into their schools/organizations/agencies and do leadership,” Senator Reid said.
The Aspiring Principals’ Program is designed to adequately prepare persons for the task of the Principalship, prior to recruitment.
The post graduate level program is delivered in partnership with the University of the West Indies, Mona.
The National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), has engaged two cohorts of 40 and 114 individuals, respectively. The third cohort of 95 Principals has just been recruited.