The Presidents of the Old Boys’ Associations of five of Jamaica’s prominent high schools, have written a lengthy letter to the Ministry of Education demanding greater accountability and
transparency from ISSA.
ISSA, the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association, is the governing body for high school sports in Jamaica, including the popular and lucrative boys and girls athletics championships,
Champs. It’s formed and managed by high school principals.
The five Old Boys’ Associations are from St. George’s College, Jamaica College, Kingston College, Calabar and Wolmer’s.
In the four-page letter, dated June 8, they raised concerns about how ISSA conducts its operations, and what they say is the unfortunate impression that ISSA is exploiting student
athletes with little or no contribution to their academic development.
They allege that ISSA receives over 200-million dollars a year from corporate sponsors alone, but only contributed less than a million dollars to one of the leading participating schools
last year, leaving the alumni associations to bear the brunt of the expenses for student athletes.
They also raise several questions about whether the association’s executive members are paid for positions that are supposed to be voluntary.
As well as conflicts of interest between some executive members who’re also directors of Greenfield Media Productions, a joint venture between ISSA and Grace Kennedy, the main
sponsor of Champs. Additionally, the Old Boys say it’s not clear to whom, if anyone, ISSA reports.
They say as an organization funded by the government, it should be subject to the same corporate governance standards applicable to public sector bodies.
They’re demanding the public disclosure of ISSA’s audited financial statements for the past five years.
They also want ISSA to make more funding available to schools, including remedial classes for student athletes.
The Old Boys are also demanding that the Board of the association be diversified to include representatives from the alumni associations, parent teacher associations and Ministry of
Education. When contacted today, President of the St. George’s College Old Boys Association, Lyndon Latore, said they’re not commenting publicly at this time.
He says they’re giving themselves time to have dialogue with their partners. ISSA is scheduled to hold an election for President of the Association tomorrow.
Latore says the timing of their letter just before that election is a coincidence.
Nationwide News was unable to reach ISSA’s president, Dr. Walton Small, who’s also the Principal of Wolmer’s Boys, for a comment.
We were told he’s in a meeting.