Today when we sat down with Education Officer Carla Alvarez, she noted a sharp decline in enrollment figures for the past few years in schools in the north. Alvarez says part of the problem stems from parent’s complaints of schools asking and requesting way too much from the students. Examples would include frequent rag days, asking for supplies and additional money throughout the week and months of school and it seems to have taken a toll on cash strapped families. Alvarez says the Ministry is strongly discouraging the sale of raffles and other forms of fundraising, since it poses predatory risks on our children.
Carla Alvarez – District Education Officer
“I have statistics for the last about three or four years and we have seen a little decline but it is not that much, what concerns me and I will send out the data to my principals later today but what concerns me is that on articular schools the populations seems to be decreasing and if I am to correlate the decrease in population with some of the complaint that come to me from those particular schools, what I am finding out, I mean it is just correlating one factor with another, it that it is cases where the schools are asking for a lot of, they do a lot of fund raisings and they asking a lot for additional monies instead for just the fees and so on that you need to sale a raffle book and we totally discourage that kind of thing, the ministry of education is totally against certain thing like for example having children that, if I find out that any school is doing that I stop it immediately, having children by the road side or on the highway begging for money and even teachers I mean there are way of doing fundraising at school and there are certain events that you can do, I know for example that the Queen selection for the September Celebration is a fund raising activity just for about every school and that is one of the reasons why I lobbied for us to move our school parade because usually you would have you little queens being a part of the parade and so on, I lobbied of us to move our parade from the 12th because on the national September Celebrations calendar is was down for the 12th and so we manage to moves ours to the 19th so it gives the school more timing to do their fund raising, select their queens and like because I do know that they use that for fundraising purposes so if we try to do fundraising lets try to venture into those activities than to forcing parent to sale raffle books or to buy raffle books but in many cases it is not the parents who do it but sometimes it is the children who do it and also I want to tell the parent do not send your children out and sale raffle books and to be engage on those types of activities because you know we have predators out there and we don’t know what can happen.”
It is of note that the mandatory school age range from 5 to 14 years.
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