By Aaron Humes: Recently a parent in Belize City shared the concern with us that certain schools in the Belize District are charging an additional “water fee” of $5 – $10 per child attending school.
The justification is that with the new COVID-19 normal of more washing of hands on a regular basis, water bills charged to schools will go up.
But no matter what the level of the bill, the amount collected will be far greater and the question is – where does the rest of that money go?
From a rules standpoint, the Ministry of Education must sign off on such additional collections. The procedure was outlined for us by Chief Executive Officer Dr. Deborah Domingo.
“There is a memorandum for the Chief Education Officer going back a few years now that reminds managing authorities and principals that fees for the year cannot exceed $150, and if there are any adjustments to fees, an application should be made to her office one year before fees are increased, with clear and proper justification. And that is embedded in the Education Regulations,” Dr. Domingo said.
She added that parents must raise their concerns to the district education office in their district or the main office in Belize City.