Education Minister Demands Schools’ Annual Financial Reports

Education Minister, Ruel Reid, says he’ll be demanding that government-run schools islandwide provide him with their annual financial reports which are to be made public.

He says schools need to be transparent in their spending, citing reports of fraud in some cases.

His indication that he’ll be demanding the financial reports stems from his frustration over complaints that some schools are breaching the government’s policy against mandatory auxiliary fees.

Minister Reid hasn’t said when his new directive will become effective.

But his declaration comes after he’s admonished some secondary school administrators who are reportedly demanding that parents pay auxiliary fees despite the government’s policy which makes such financial contributions optional.

A tough-talking Minister Reid yesterday said it was a corrupt act and an attempt to extort parents.

He followed that up in an interview on Nationwide @5 last evening, vowing that he’ll now insist that schools file their financial reports. He says they should account for how they’re spending the money the government provides them.

The Education Minister charged that he’s ‘tired’ of the complaints his Ministry has been receiving about schools breaching the government’s policy.

He says in some cases, schools do not spend money they collect on projects and plans they promise to fund.

He says schools must be transparent in their spending.

In making his case for the financial reports to be made public, Minister Reid went further, saying his Ministry has received reports of primary and high school administrators being involved in fraud.

Yesterday, Minister Reid strongly warned school administrators not to demand auxiliary fees from parents. He named St. Andrew High School for Girls, The Queen’s School, Holy Childhood and Mona High as being among the schools reportedly engaged in this practice.