VOX POP: Parents react to gov’ts decision to stop paying CXC exam fees
By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff
Some local parents have expressed mixed reviews about the government’s recent decision to stop paying Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exam fees for local students.
Following the announcement, BVI News took to the streets of Tortola on Thursday to gather feedback from some parents — all of whom asked to remain anonymous out of fear of being victimised.
A mother of one who is from the Valley in Virgin Gorda disagreed with the decision and said she believes it will have a negative impact on some parents.
“The CXC is very expensive and they don’t pay much here and we don’t have enough to pay for all of the CXC’s that will be required. They need to continue paying for it. People that don’t make a lot of money and can’t afford it; maybe they should just help them out — even half or something,” she told BVI News.
Also in disagreement with the government’s decision is an East End resident whose son attends Elmore Stoutt High School on Tortola.
Due to what she described as widespread poverty in the territory, the parent said she sees the decision as a ‘mistake’.
“I have a child in the high school who within a few years will have to be sitting those exams so it’s telling me that from now I have to start saving for those exams. There are many parents who can’t afford it. As such, it can cause a lot of school dropouts,” she said.
Pay a percentage, gov’t told
The East End resident said even if the government can’t foot the entire bill, they should at least pay a percentage of the fees for some students.
“I don’t see why the BVI government cannot continue to do that. It’s not something that I personally feel that they can’t afford,” she argued.
Each CXC subject adds up
Also agreeing with these sentiments was a resident of Huntums Ghut whose daughter also attends the Elmore Stoutt High School.
This parent said she believes paying for each CXC subject will add up to an overall cost that may not be affordable for all parents.
“For the family that finds CXC important or think that it is vital, they should have the option of government’s assistance because if you want your child to have a well-rounded background, you won’t want them to do just Math or English. You may want them to do a foreign language or biology, chemistry or whichever the school offers. So, it could definitely put an added burden on parents who especially have a lot of children,” she stated.
She continued: “In other countries, the government does not cover all of the expenses but they do cover some of the expenses based on the income of the family. So you submit an application form and you fill in the parents’ job and their income and so forth and then based on that, the government will decide how much they want to cover. So I think that can be an alternative instead of just cutting it out altogether.”
Let them pay
Meanwhile, a businesswoman in Road Town said she believes that by having to pay now, children will be motivated to ensure they pass each exam.
She said: “Let the children pay for it if they want to do it themselves. I think if they have to pay it for themselves, they might take it more seriously … If they know they don’t have to pay for it and spend nothing, they might just not show any interest, they might just do it for doing it sake.”
My parents paid when I was in high school
Also agreeing with the government’s decision is a Long Look resident and a mother of two.
She told BVI News that she wasn’t aware that government was paying the fees prior to their decision to stop. She, however, said she remembers her parents having to pay her fees some years ago.
“Of course everybody would like a help out. In the perfect world, you won’t have to spend a dollar. But when it comes to my children’s education, once I have it, I will do whatever I need to do. Even if I don’t have it, I would do what I need to do to ensure they are ok,” she said.
With one of her children set to begin their journey at the Joyce Samuel Primary School, the young mother said the decision is not harsh or unreasonable.
“I know some people aren’t in the position to do it but that’s just the world. If you need something done, you have to pay for it — especially for those who have children in public school. I mean they already aren’t paying like a monthly fee or a tuition. Yes, you have to pay for books and other resources but I think if you have to pay for exams it’s not too bad. I don’t see it as a terrible thing,” she added.
Why gov’t decided to stop funding
Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said one of the reasons the government decided to stop funding is because some students do not show up to sit the exams after they have been paid for.
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That’s a really bad move on government behalf and it’s not only affecting our parents but our children lives. It’s crazy that they pay for festival but cannot support a well rounded education. I thought our children are the future for I think government should pay for it and if and only the students didn’t pass and have to resist the exam that’s when the parents should foot that expense. When the parents pay all on their own and kids become successful them government want to reap the glory. How about government raising our pay wages if this is something they want us to do as parents all they been doing is adding taxes on everything and raising fees but no where we are seeing your paycheck raising. we are still being enslaved by our own government our own people then we want to talk about our mother land and want to go independent this should have been a decision made by all communities not just by our ministers remember that government said all decisions will be run but the public first.
Subject Fee: Per Subject Per Subject
Entry Fee: Per Candidate Per Candidate
Local Fee: Per Candidate Per Candidate
Late Fee: Nov 1 – 15 Dec 16 – Jan 31
Very Late Fee: Nov 16 – 30 Feb 1 – Mar 15
Cost to do your hair once a month $65.00
Thank you for breaking this down. The way these people behave you swear it’s $300 per subject.
Not everything in life is free. I find we CHOOSE to invest in what we want! Our children should be one such investment. $12.50 can’t hurt one person out there who wants to invest in their child. Let’s stop the blame game and realize not everything will or can be a handout!
Time to break this handout culture we have established. Sorry to say.
Can I write a reference letter for you to get a job with this news blog? How you going to write a whole story about fees and NOT ONCE mention what the actual fees are? Thank you for breaking this down. I wonder if the “reporter” even knew the fees.
Some weeks ago the write a long mele story about legislators arguing and on to now I want to know what was the issue they were arguing about. Do better nah BVI News????????
BVI News is responsible for reporting what was said and the comments that was said by persons of the community
Not to input their views
Dear BVI News Reporter responding to blog posts: You are responsible for reporting on an issue – you first have to inform and describe the issue to your reader.
FACTS about the cost of fees isn’t an opinion – it’s just that facts to help you in your reporting on the issue and what was said by those same persons. Try again.
oh my goodness! is that all it cost here?
do you know how expensive these exams are in other Caribbean countries? and parents pay for them without government assistance.
you guys are criminal man!
The same people here commenting about not having money to pay for their children exams, their children here walking around with thousand dollar iPhones and wearing 400 dollars sneakers, and the majority of them are not BVIslanders. They would have to pay for these exams in their own countries
Exactly!! We complain about everything that is worthwhile. But we give our children everything that is not always such a benefit. Cut down on these set of weaves, and nails and IPhones and let them realize their education is the best investment for their future.
How much do the exams cost? Is it just the exam or the whole couse of lessons leading to the exam?
Electing a VIP government was a big big mistake
Dah mek sense????? We miss minister Walwyn
Come on parents, you and everyone that is against this should be ashamed of your behavior. You as parents can and should pay for your children/child exam. It’s called investing in your children/child future.Stop depending on your Government to pick up the tab for everything. We have to learn how to pay our own tab.Nothing is free.
Some reasonable ideas were presented by the persons asked in the interview. I agree that parents should consider it a priority to invest in the exams, even if it means starting a special account from the time the student enters high school.
I also agree that government should use its discretion to assist those under special circumstances of need, not greed.
Students can also consider if their parents are not well off, not to demand expensive consumer products,like cellphones and brand name everything, so that the monies saved can go towards their education.
Pay for alyp CXC Cant expect Government to do all. budget and save for it. u have 4-5 years to save towards it. You cant expect government to do it all
The governments that we have and had over the history of this territory has made the people into a population of parasites. These damn people don’t want to pay for anything. How is the territory going to stand if the people want to pilfer the treasury to pay for their every need? Who don’t want to take care of children don’t get them. Tortola has become a weak crying set of people. I am 75 years old and in my young days people were self sufficient to the best of their ability. People didn’t used to go to the government to beg for anything. That’s not to say that there are people who need subsidies, but damn even those who can afford don’t want to pay their way. And let me say right now I don’t care who agree or disagree.
I am sorry to say but I’ve said it time and time again that too much of the BVI population has an entitlement attitude. I am proud to be from down islnad and the government only assist persons who cant afford to pay for CXC and that recommendation HAS to come from the principal of the school who will channel it through the ministry of education providing proof the child’s parents cant afford it. And believe you me you are talking hundreds of dollars but those fees are paid and these are the students you see getting 11 plus subjects with 1 and 2 and distinctions. You know why because with parents having to pay that kind of money the children have to beat them books and pass ain’t no time for no monkey story cause you ain’t wasting my hard earn money doing foolishness. Some of these same parent that crying out are the ones whose kids always wearing weave nails and Jordan’s to school. Invest in your children they are yours not the government’s.
Yes i understand some may argue on “financial issues” totally understandable! But let’s talk about priorities! Parents would save big time to buy their kids the latest iphone costing over $1000, why cant they do the same for paying the CXC’s fees? Although I was blessed to have the government pay for mine, i made sure that I sat ALL 8 of my exams resulting in grade 1s and 2s. Then the rebellious students who sign up for 8 and only show up for 1 and still fail! Sorry not Sorry, sounds like parents and kids taking advantage of the tax payers money! And since i am one, parents need to take responsibility for their kids actions! I am a expecting mother and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t mind paying for my child’s education.
As a retired teacher from ESHS, the parents may start taking their children education serious. Some have never been to a PTA,never come when called by the school, never collected reports, never repay or repair damaged furniture or building at school. But now they want to complain because the government hit them in their pockets. I say, mr minister do it. The BVI parents have no respect and appreciation for education. Why? we would have never been here at this crossroad. In other caribbean countries students compete in education here, some parents and students can’t be bothered
People in the Virgin Islands want every dam thing for free especially some of those foreigners. Dam man.
Why are parents complaining ? You like too much freeness..look at other carribbean countries ,the goverment dont help and some of these students are doing up to 12 subjects..Parents can can go on boat rides,party big buy children the latest gadgets but cant pay for their child education stupidness
Men f–k nbo. We need vip back