Schools urged not to burden parents with excessive graduation costs

Education Minister Fayval Williams
By Nakinskie Robinson     
Minister of Education Fayval Williams is urging school boards and administrators to be mindful of the costs given to students who participate in school leaving exercises.
Her call comes ahead of the start of the 2024 graduation season in June.
Mrs. Williams says it is crucial that these activities are accessible and inclusive. 
"I know that many schools use external vendors to provide the gowns and caps, the photos and other services. We ask that our principals negotiate as hard as they can with vendors."
She also appealed to vendors to "consider the pockets of the parents".
"While this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students, we do not want it to be a financial burden on families who may have more than one child graduating. To our vendors, we know you're in business, but you're also a stakeholder in education. Help our families. We don't want graduation to be used to exclude," the minister pleaded during Wednesday morning's post Cabinet press briefing.
A recent post on social media platform Facebook, sparked concerns after a letter to graduands of Glenmuir High School in Clarendon disclosed that the cost of participation in the ceremony alone would total $41,000 or $50,000, inclusive of a dinner.
There has been outrage in recent years among parents and guardians about the rising cost of school leaving events.

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