Principal of The Ifill School Akil Ifill is dismissing suggestions that the school is in danger of eviction from its Hindsbury Road, St Michael location owned by the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU)
But, Ifill is calling on parents to honour outstanding fees to the almost two-year-old institution.
He explained to Barbados TODAY that the school’s management recently informed BWU in a letter, that we will be “consolidating operations” further up Hindsbury Road, at another location which is also used by the school.
“The school has two campuses, one is next to the pedestrian crossing near Hindsbury School, and the other one would be where we started the school.
“I met with parents, and I meet with parents probably more than any other principal at any other school, and I informed them that we wrote to the Barbados Workers’ Union and we are going to consolidate operations because we can see what will happen.
“It is not a move; it is just that we are using one location to operate from. We are just expanding and consolidating. We use the other location for karate, we have used it for our 11-plus mock exam, we have used it for other activities, so we are just consolidating on one location. It does not disadvantage the child or the school because it is still on Hindsbury Road within walking distance. So we have already started to consolidate our operations and in September we will have a better, more improved experience,” he said.
In an article published in Barbados TODAY’s June 13 edition last year, Ifill had impressed on parents the need to pay up on outstanding fees for their wards. However, the 33-year-old principal said one year later some parents continue not to honour their commitment.
He said he took the step to meet with parents to ask them how they wanted to approach the issue of the payment of school fees, particularly in light of the COVID-19 climate.
He explained that two parents said they wanted a payment plan to be introduced and the decision was made that it would be done for all.
According to him, while the school designed its online portal to continue classes during the closure of schools because of the pandemic, he indicated that those children whose parents have not paid fees would not be allowed on the portal.
“I give them the payment plan and some of the parents still did not work with the payment plan at all. So then it is not fair to parents who have legitimately paid, that children, whose parents have not paid, can be on the online programme,” he said.
He said he could not understand why some people have an issue with paying their debts, when the reality stands that customers can only leave the supermarket with their groceries, or a fast food restaurant with their food, after they have paid.
The principal said that unfortunately, some parents, several of them who have been paying the lowest amount in school fees, are using salacious comments to try to bring down the institution which is still in the building process.
“Some of them are being delinquent, and some are trying to put the school in a negative light. Some also, if they are moving their child have not informed me directly and there is a process, there is a way of doing things. But, if you are going to remove a child from the school, then move the child.
“Do not try to bring down what the school has done. To date, we are the only private school to have done night sport, we are the only school period to have had sports on a Saturday with medals, we have done well in the common entrance examination over the last year, and we have broken the record at NAPSAC in the Obadele Thompson Zone for the Girls’ 600 metres,” he said.
“So we have done a lot of things. Even right now, we are at Browne’s Beach having a physical education session. These are things that we do that parents respect and I want to thank those parents who have paid their fees,” he said.
The principal said his school recently held a mock examination for those students who will be sitting the 2020 Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination next week Tuesday, and is confident that they have been prepared as best as possible for the big day.
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