Students who can’t pay won’t be barred from exams

| 17/12/2012

(CNS): The education department has confirmed that no student will be excluded from taking examinations because of their inability to pay in advance. All internal examinations and tests in our government schools are free to all students. Caymanian students pay no school fees and non-Caymanian students are assessed at what the ministry said was low fees, as provided in law, based on the stage of education. It also noted that at present no students are required to pay book fees but may be asked to contribute to practical fees for certain subjects such as Technology, Home Economics and similar courses.

Students are required to pay the costs for external examination fees these fees are collected by the school but are paid to the external examination boards, such as CXC – the Caribbean Examinations Council.

Officials sad that the education services department as well as the education minister are very sensitive to the economic pressures faced by families and a number of steps have been taken to help make the costs of external examinations more manageable.

Schools are working to send out payment notices well in advance so that parents can budget accordingly. Payment plans are available for parents who find it difficult to pay the full amount in one installment. For cases in which parents are genuinely unable to pay fees, the Department of Children and Family Services has provided support through their programmes.

Students are not restricted from taking examinations, even if the fees have not been paid.  However, they cannot collect their certificates or be issued transcripts of external examination results until these debts have been cleared. 

It should be noted that the total current annual cost for external examinations for our students is in the region of $250,000, reflecting the dramatic increase in recent years of students who are sitting and passing internationally recognized and accredited qualifications.

Category: Local News

Comments (8)

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  1. Rights Said Fred says:

    Any non-Caymanian student should right a letter of protest before payment and then reclaim it as it is a breach fo the right to free education and non-discrimination under the ECHR and the Bill of Rights.

    • Anonymous says:

      Any non Caymanian student who is in difficulty in paying these fees is in the Islands in breach of their immigration permission and a condition which was well known before they came here or were enrolled for school.

      • Anonymous says:

        Need is irrelevant.  The government charges are illegal, discriminatory and recoverable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Non-Caymanian students should not write (write, right?) any letter of protest on said basis. The rights to free education along with several other benefits are for the legal citizens of this country. Consider if you'd be eligible for benefits such as subsidized health care or social security in Canada or the USA without being a citizen. In my humble opinion this country has to move away from the rhetoric of freeness because there is genuinely no such thing as a free lunch. Ultimately, it will be our children and their children who foot the bill for our suppoedly free opportunities that we have squandered.

      • Anonymous says:

        You will find that the right of free secondary education is one that extends to all resident children as guaranteed under the ECHR and accordingly non-discrimination applies too under Art 14.  What happens in America is irrelevant.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps the wages paid by the employer cannot cover the costs of the free education.

        Perhaps the caymanians recieving the free education in the USor Canada should pay

         

    • noname says:

      I will have to disagree with you on this. The government budgets x amount each year for education. If residents here get a free education for their kids, they simply send back home for all their other kids and such, so these kids can benefit from a free education. Hence, more kids with the same x being budgeted. The schools now have the same amount of money with a lot more students. That in itself is a huge problem. Less materials, overcrowding, high pupil teacher ratio. In a nutshell, a less than desirable educational experience.

      • Peter Parker says:

        This is irrelevant to the illegality of the charge.  The Government's failure ot budget for its obligations is not a defence.