In the wake of reports that the National Water Commission (NWC) is seeking approval for a rate increase, it’s believed that schools could request higher payments from parents if the increase is granted.
The proposed new rate structure could result in water rates for some commercial entities, condominiums and schools going up by 36 per cent, while sewerage costs would increase by 46 per cent.
According to President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), Helene Davis-Whyte, the education ministry will need to increase its allocation to schools for water bills.
“Already schools are experiencing problems in terms of meeting their daily expenses and this will be a huge cost for schools. The Ministry of Education will have to increase the amount allocated to schools to deal with expenses. So we may be seeing schools asking for more……” she said.
Meanwhile, Past President of the National Consumers League, Trevor Samuels, says primary schools will be especially hard hit.
“They are going to feel it more than perhaps the high schools. (The High schools) have better resources and financial resources. I know that the water bill is not cheap … some of the primary schools, which don’t have auxiliary fees, they are going to be much more at risk in terms of paying their water bill and I’m sure many of them already have a difficulty in paying what now exists,” Samuels said.