Parents, teachers, kids turn out to protest 14% VAT on private school fees

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By: Carl Croker
As  pressure heats up for government to rescind its decision to add 14 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on private school fees, scores of persons turned out on the picket line Thursday in front the Ministry of Finance to vent their feelings on the situation.
According to a parent Amanda Ali who has two children attending a private school, the public schools system is facing difficulties. She noted further said that, “if parents take their children out of private schools and place them in public schools the Ministry will not be able to deal with this amount of children” .
The mother of two said that it is a misconception to believe that everyone who sends their children to private school is rich, “that is not so, people make sacrifices because they want their children to perform.. I think that they are other ways that the government can generate revenue they just need to do their research”.
Former government Minister Dr Nanda Gopaul who was standing on the picket line with his daughter said  “I think many of our fore parents who struggled and were able to put in the constitution that education should be free for all from nursery to university must be turning in their graves when they see what is happening today with education”.
Gopaul supported the fact that all agencies  should pay taxes “but you cannot say because a school is not paying tax you are going to put the children to pay for it” he said.
Another young mother who has twin girls made it clear that the exercise is not political and that she believes that the public school system has broken down.
The protest was organized by a group called the Guyana Private Schools United and consists of nine private schools, with more schools expected to join according to a source of the group.
Young children, teachers along with students came out in support of the action.
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