Govt & Opposition at Odds over Cost of Removing Auxiliary Fees

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Opposition Spokesman on Education, Ronald Thwaites, is coming out against the Government’s move to abolish auxiliary fees for high schools.

Education Minister Ruel Reid announced yesterday that the government is increasing its subvention to schools from $11,500 to $19,000 per student.

Mr. Reid says the move is expected to cost two billion dollars, which will be funded across two budget cycles and disbursed to schools in tranches.

However, Mr. Thwaites says the Ministry is grossly underestimating the cost of running a high school.

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Mr. Thwaites says according to an estimate done while he was Minister, it would cost over 5-billion dollars to abolish auxiliary fees at high schools.

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Meanwhile, Education Minister Ruel Reid is criticizing the previous administration for paying schools late.

Speaking on Nationwide This Morning, the Minister said late payments of contributions to schools forced them to seek additional assistance from parents.

He says his administration is committed to education, will pay schools early.

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Mr. Reid says schools will be paid according to their needs, and will have to justify why they need additional funds.

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Despite the abolition of auxiliary fees, Minister Reid says schools will still be allowed to collect contributions for development.

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