Education Minister, Ruel Reid, says the government will be continuing its controversial funding arrangements for high schools for the upcoming school year.

Speaking today, Minister Reid says based on a last year’s ‘successful’ trial, the arrangements will continue with $7.2-billion for the start of the new school year in September.

This, as the Ministry handed over the fourth and final tranche for this year in April of $1.3-billion.

Minister Reid’s assessment of the JLP’s funding policy implemented last year in a bid to abolish auxiliary fees in high schools is that it has been ‘very successful.’

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Senator Reid was addressing the media at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle Headquarters this morning.

He says based on the success, this year the government will provide $7.2-billion in four tranches.

The first is due in the second week of June. The other three will come in September, December and April of 2018.

Minister Reid attributes the successful implementation to the provision of additional funding to cover extra programmes that would’ve otherwise been paid for through auxiliary fees.

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The Education Minister also announced additional funding for primary and infant schools to the tune of almost $260-million, and path school feeding benefits of $1.7-billion.

Minister Reid says this will facilitate a per student increase for primary and infant education from $950 and $650 to $2,500.

He says the additional support means an expected increase in accountability from schools.

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Meanwhile, Minister Ruel Reid is admitting there are ‘serious financial gaps’ in funding education at the tertiary level.

He revealed to Nationwide News today that the $300-million recently set aside by his Ministry to help tertiary students who’re having financial difficulties has almost been used up.

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At today’s press conference, Minister Reid said about $45-million is owed by students to the University of West Indies in outstanding fees.

He says the 225 U.W.I. students with balances less than $100,000 will be assisted through the Jamaica Values and Attitudes programme, JAMVAT.

In total, those students owe approximately $9-million.

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He’s reiterating that students have a duty to pay their fees.

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