JAMAICA Teachers' Association President Owen Speid has called on the Government to provide funding to private schools, many of which are now struggling to stay afloat due to the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in school doors being closed from early March.
“I think it is penny wise and pound foolish for any government to believe they can ignore the private schools and just go ahead and provide funding to the public schools and leave those private schools to die; it will cost us much more if those institutions die,” Speid argued.
He was responding to a suggestion by Opposition spokesman Peter Bunting that it could be left to the Government to provide aid to 30,000 private school students if there is no assistance available for these institutions.
Bunting insisted that while it can be said that it is not the business of Government to get involved in contractual arrangements between parents and private schools, the service they are providing would have to be taken over by the Government if they fall out of the system.
The Jamaica Independent Schools' Association (JISA), which represents some 150 private schools across the island, has been petitioning the Ministry of Education to offer financial assistance to its members since schools were first mandated closed in March as a means of limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus.