JAPSS President Linvern Wright and Principal of Old Harbour High Linton Weir
By Warren Bertram
School administrators are complaining that their operations are being hampered by late disbursement of funds from the Education Ministry.
Linvern Wright, President of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, says schools are often in debt and have to rely on the understanding of their suppliers.
"The monies that come to us are usually late...so you're waiting on your money for next year to actually pay debt for this year out of it," he lamented.
"And it’s not about mismanagement. It’s just that inflation has eaten things out and there are some things that are necessities when you’re educating a child that as principals we have to grapple with," he added.
Linton Weir, Principal of Old Harbour High School, echoed similar sentiments about the late provision of funds and schools having to rely on the kindness of suppliers.
He called educators "magicians", citing how they have been able to get things done "with the little resources that we have been receiving".
Mr. Wright said rural schools in particular are dealing with a need for additional funding, especially as it relates to participation in extra curricular activities.
He explained that with these schools being located further away from the central locations for various sporting and academic competitions, it often costs them more to compete as they face increased transportation costs.
"If you have to participate in sports, if you have to participate in festival, if you have to participate in anything like Schools’ Challenge [Quiz], just imagine a school in Westmoreland having to travel to Kingston. The cost is no less than $90,000 for a bus and when you want to participate with children like these, you have to make decisions about which one to do and which one not to do. But the children in school have these diverse interests... but you just don’t have to funds to do these things in a time like this," he pointed out.
Mr. Wright and Mr. Weir were speaking on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.