A handful of parents who have children attending Mae’s Private school at Subryanville, Georgetown on Monday protested the school over a maximum of 42% increase in the school fees, which they are expected to pay by June.
Parents gathered in front of the school’s Georgetown location to express their concerns and called for an urgent engagement with the administration of the school.
They told reporters that the fee for the playgroup was moved from $35,000 to $50,000, Lower Nursery from $45,000 to $60,000, while the primary level Grades 1 – 4 fee was increased from $60,000 to $75,000; and Grade 6 from $70,000 to $80,000.
According to one of the parents, Kamla Persaud, a meeting was requested with the school’s administration but there was no response, hence the protest action today.
“I am a single parent, where am I going to get it from?” she questioned.
Another parent, Andrea Bryan said the move by the administrator of the school is “arrogant.”
“It is very burdensome to parents, there is a wide spectrum of parents coming to this school. It’s not just rich people as is a perception in society but persons make large sacrifices to send their children to school here and we think the decent thing to do is meet with the parents to hear their concerns,” Bryan told reporters.
The parents said they received the notice of increase on April 23 as school was closed for the Easter holidays and were told to have the fees by the end of June 2018.
The notice to the parents advised that the increases were necessary as the school’s cost to do business has increased,” in some cases quite substantially, over the last few years.”
The school also claimed to be placing an even greater focus on staff development/ empowerment.
Andrew Hercules, one of the parents who has a child attending the Primary level of the school, said the parents were also not reimbursed the 14% VAT paid to the school for 2018 –even though they were promised that they will be reimbursed after the Government announced the reversal of the budget measure.
Hercules said “they had advised us to pay the 2018 fees which would have been for this period, in November last year. We were advised that that will be reimbursed to us in 2018 only to be told last month once you have been paid in November, you forfeit that VAT amount that was paid.”
The frustrated parents held up placards carrying slogans including: “Reduce the %, we came to Mae’s because it is affordable,” “Highway robbery to the max” and “This is robbery.”
They are hoping that their protests will force the Government to intervene in and vowed to continue protesting until something is done.