August 13, 2020
Written by Tasha Ann Miller
Disclaimer: This article is not a source of professional financial advice as it was written for informational purposes only. Please speak with your certified financial advisor about safeguarding the future of your child or children’s education.
In Jamaica, the elected political representatives would normally have treats and back-to-school assistance programs during the month of August for children who will be returning to school in September. Parliament was officially dissolved today in preparation for the 18th general elections on September 3, 2020. Furthermore, with the present air of election fanfare it is a perfect opportunity to increase the call for more support in education. Perhaps, the campaign funding from irrespective parties should be placed in a fund and distributed to the neediest parents who have lost their jobs and are in dire straits about the start of the new school term. Therefore, I hope the current elected representatives as well as the challenging candidates are prepared to genuinely assist all parents irrespective of their political partisanship and without the deception of vote buying.
The Minister of Finance in Jamaica, Dr. Nigel Clarke announced on Tuesday, August 11, that 1.6 billion dollars will be provided to students on the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) and Poor Relief program to assist with back-to-school expenses. This programme is an extension of the government’s COVID Allocation of Resources to Employees (CARE) initiative to provide financial support to Jamaicans that are being severely affected by the financial impact of the pandemic. This initiative is a stimulus incentive that is well needed by some of the poorest parents among us who have children that continuously excels despite their poverty. Furthermore, the assistance will be severely limited from corporate Jamaica as they will be focusing on financially rebounding from COVID19 which may include debt consolidation efforts to cope with the increasing expense of this pandemic.
Social media provides a platform to share your story by partnering with a reputable organization such as the church or community association to get assistance for your child or children. Also, you can seek help from several foundations across Jamaica. This can be complemented by taking the early approach to seek scholarships if you know your child is a high academic achiever. Scholarships are one of the long-term solutions to financially preparing for education along with personal investments and savings.
Furthermore, you can connect with a trusted person who is experienced at setting up a gofundme account to help you with your cause. Otherwise, if your tech savvy or your child is then you can work with the gofundme help center to set it up. The truth to gofundme fundraisers is the sincerely genuine and verifiable appeal so your cause can be supported well. Therefore, you will need to get perhaps a school official or a trusted organization to help advocate and push your reach for a successful campaign.
Corporate Jamaica is still on board despite their financial recovery from the COVID19 pandemic. There are also foundations that are specifically setup to offer financial support to educational development in Jamaica. I have listed a few below. There are also several scholarship and grant opportunities across the tiers of education that were available earlier in the previous months. However, you can try to take advantage of those opportunities once they become available in the future. Additionally, you can also inquire about the savings and investment plans at your financial institutions that can help with the long-term educational future of your child or children.
Foundations that assist with educational development in Jamaica
Scholarship Jamaica – https://scholarshipjamaica.com/
Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation – https://www.helpinghandsjamaica.com/
Digicel Foundation – http://www.digicelfoundation.org/jamaica/en/home.html
JPS Foundation – https://www.jpsco.com/jps-foundation/
How COVID19 has changed the financing of education
Parents and guardians of students returning to schools in September will need to factor in the additional expense of masks and providing hand sanitizers. Additionally, for some parents it might include the added responsibility of paying for internet service or buying extended mobile data plans. The list of add-ons to the normal costly process of supporting the education of children compounded by increasing inflation and the depreciating dollar value of incomes (if any) will become a stretch for some parents. However, parents must adjust their mindset to the change approach as they overcome challenges rather than acceding to despondency. Therefore, do not have an attitude of despair but learn from history as this world has risen from several financial depressions of the past only to outpace their last century’s achievement with great results.
It is the same attitude that is needed to the new normal financing of education. It will involve some bartering, partnership, giving, sacrifices, and best of all a mindset to the long term investment of education. Therefore, parents will become entrepreneurs, legitimate online side hustlers, consultants in offering services for value whether by payment or valued based merit agreements. Simply, this includes, if can assist your child with a subject area of difficulty, I might just need that child’s parent to pick up and keep my child until I get home from work. Therefore, this would save you a lot of immediate expenses bearing in mind that this is a trusted and mutually beneficial agreement. It does not look financial on the surface, but the more costs and expenses you can realistically eliminate, the more funds you will have to invest in your child’s or children’s education.