All public schools in the education system have received grants totalling $2.7 billion, as part of efforts to heighten their readiness for the start of the 2013/14 school year, which begins on Monday, September 2.
This was announced by Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, as he addressed a back-to-school press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston, on August 23.
He also informed that the public education system is in an advanced state of readiness for the opening of the school year.
The back to school grants for the period September 2013 to December 2013 include tuition fees, totalling $1.4 billion; maintenance, $91.6 million; regular, $142.2 million; and Programme for Advancement through Health and Education (PATH)/feeding, $1.03 billion.
The per capita allocation for Tuition Grant remains at $11,500 for high school students; $930 for primary schools and $830 for infant schools.
Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites (right), consults with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Elaine Foster Allen (centre); and Chief Education Officer in the Ministry, Grace McLean, during a back to school press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston, on August 23.
“During this time of economic asperity and where public expenditure is governed by our conveyance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of the imperatives of the education system is to be prudent,” the Minister said.
“We have to avoid excess and waste and we have to do more with what we have. All of the advances and the improvements in the education system have to be done within the existing budget,” Rev. Thwaites emphasised.
He informed that the Ministry has started to supply schools with more than 16,000 pieces of furniture, and that the process should be completed by August 31.
“We have approved some schools to procure and repair furniture from their existing accounts. We know more is needed, but this is a significant increase on what we were able to provide last year,” he said.
The Minister commended school administrators who have undertaken repairs on their own at the various institutions.