42% fee hikeIn light of widespread outcry by parents over the burdensome fee hike by Mae’s Schools, a team from the Education Ministry on Tuesday met with the administration of the private institution to discuss the matter.According to the Ministry, there will be another meeting following Tuesday’s fruitful discussions.Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson, along with a team from the Ministry and the administration of Mae’s School following a meeting on Tuesday“The two sides met and had a fruitful discourse with a view of arriving at a resolution that is acceptable to the school and parents of children at the early possible time. In two weeks, the MoE and the Mae’s team are scheduled to have another interface on the way forward,” the missive from the Education Ministry detailed.The Ministry’s team during the meeting was led by Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson, and comprised of Legal Officer Kellyanne Payne-Hercules; Private School Coordinator Doodmattie Singh, and National Parent Teachers Association Coordinator, Nadia Hollingsworth.Meanwhile, the representatives from Mae’s include: Lucinda Mc Curdy, Administration (Ag); Megan Archer, Director – Primary; and Shaundell Beckles, Deputy Director – Primary.Over the past weeks, parents of students attending Mae’s Schools have been complaining bitterly over the increase of fees of up to 42 per cent for some levels. The school has justified the fee hike, saying it is to support increasing operational costs.However, some of the frustrated parents staged a peaceful picketing exercise outside the school on Monday, protesting the excessive increase.The parents explained that they are not against a reasonable increase, but the current figures are almost exploitative. To this end, they called for Government’s intervention.About four years ago, then Education Minister Priya Manickchand, had tabled the Education Bill of 2014, which was read in Parliament in 2014. Then in 2017, the MoE had said the regularisation of all private education institutions will be provided for under the new Education Act.When contacted concerning the status of the new Education Act, the Education Ministry (MoE) said, “The matter has to engage Cabinet, Opposition and all other stakeholders on the matter reference to the Bill.”This is not the first time that parents of children attending the Mae’s Schools are protesting a decision by the school’s administration. In May 2016, several parents of students in Grade Five staged a protest, claiming that they had paid $20,000 for extra lessons that were not being delivered.Meanwhile, at least one other private education institution – School of the Nations – have since indicated that it too will be increasing its fees, but assured that it would not be as significant as those imposed by Mae’s.