Mae’s 42% fee hike…parents to protest on MondayIn light of the recent 42 per cent hike in fees by Mae’s Schools, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said the matter has not engaged the attention of Cabinet but did note that the arrangement between the private institution and the parents of students attending same is one that is private; hence he cannot make a definitive statement on it.“The Ministry of Education would have to have a look at this to see whether it is in fact an unreasonable impost on citizens. But certainly the private schools, the arrangement with students and parents I believe is a private arrangement and is something which maybe it will have an impact on so much people in societyMae’s Schools at Third Avenue, Subryanville, Georgetownmaybe the MoE would have to have a look at it,” Harmon said.“During last year when the Government introduced some fees on the private schools, there was a big hue and a cry from the same citizens that are complaining that the private schools are charging them as much as 42 per cent increase,” he added. When asked about the status of the Education Bill, Harmon noted that he cannot speak to the status of that and efforts to contact Education Minister Nicolette Henry to determine the status proved futile. Additionally, the parents of students attending Mae’s Schools have indicated that they will be hosting a picketing exercise on Monday between the hours of 11:30h and 13:00h.According to the parents, they received notice of the increase just before school closed for Easter, indicating school fees for the Christmas Term will be increased by up to 42 per cent depending on the Grade.For playgroup, fees were raised from $35,000 per term to $50,000; nursery $45,000 to $60,000; primary Grades One to Four – $60,000 to $75,000; Grade Five, $70,000 ($60,000 + $10,000 lessons fee); Grade Six from $70,000 (60,000 + 10,000 lessons fee) to $80,000 ($60,000 + $20,000 lessons fee). Additionally, this publication was told that fees for the secondary department was also raised from $80,000 to $90,000.According to the School’s Administrator, Stacey French, the increase is due to the fact that the school’s costs to do business have increased, as well as the challenge of hiring teachers who are both motivated and experienced, in addition to overall operational costs.In 2014, then Education Minister Priya Manickchand tabled the Education Bill of 2014, which was read in Parliament. Then in 2017, the Ministry of Education said the regularisation of all private education institutions will be provided for under the new Education Act.