Private school teachers will not be left out in the cold, as Education Minister Karl Samuda announced that help was coming for them while speaking at the Jamaica Teacher’s Association’s 56th annual conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on August 17.
Based on the announcement, teachers employed to cash-strapped private schools will receive a one off payment of $40,000 JMD while support staff will receive $10,000 JMD.
“When we requested initially, he [the finance minister] contemplated the matter and had to do the appropriate checks to ensure that the funding was in place. But he has since agreed that in respect of going back to school, and support for students other than PATH students, he would facilitate us by an additional 50 million dollars to support that category of students,” said Samuda.
The Jamaica Independent Schools Association had been lobbying for monetary assistance from the government since schools were forced to close in March 2020.
However, the government had responded in May 2020 noting that it was not in a position to help these schools and teachers, a stance which it has since changed.
Earlier this month Finance Minister Nigel Clarke said 1.6 billion in back-to-school grants would be made available for the country’s most vulnerable students
Clarke noted that most of the money – $1 billion – would be provided under the COVID Allocation of Resources to Employees (CARE) Programme.
“Because of the COVID pandemic, the Government, for this fiscal year, will provide an overall back-to-school grant of $8,500 per student at the primary and secondary education level who are within the PATH or Poor Relief Programmes, to assist with the procurement of school supplies as the new academic year commences,” said Clarke.