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Cedar School blames NHI for fees increase

- many parents displeased with hike in tuition
Cedar International School has raised its fees for the new school year, parents were told in an email. Photo: VINO
The increases have been approved by the school's Board of Trustees. Photo: VINO
The increases have been approved by the school's Board of Trustees. Photo: VINO
Cedar International School blames the NHI for the increases. Photo: Provided
Cedar International School blames the NHI for the increases. Photo: Provided
KINGSTON, Tortola, VI - The Cedar International School has upped its tuition fees and has said that the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) was key in making this decision.

In an email captioned ‘Calendar, tuition and fees for 2016-17’ Director of the school Scott Crawford outlined that the fees were being increased and that those increases have been approved by the Board of Trustees of the school.

The email to the parents had the new fee structure attached to it. The NHI was implemented from January 1, 2016 and as a result many businesses have been feeling the financial impact that the Government imposed scheme has resulted in.

The email pointed out that the NHI has significantly impacted the school’s finances and said that the school has absorbed these additional cost over the past months.

“In determining tuition levels for the 2016/2017 academic year, we have carefully considered the finances of the School, particularly any significant changes in our costs. You will all no doubt be aware that the implementation of NHI, while providing a valuable social service, has a significant impact on the School's finances. Although this additional financial burden started affecting the School in January of the current academic year, we made the conscious decision to defer any increase in tuition until families had adequate time to prepare,” he said in the email.

Increases in tuition by 4.5 percent

Crawford said in the email that the increases in tuition fees as a result of the NHI will be in the region of 4.5 percent on average.

“As a not for profit organisation, we have always sought to keep fees and other costs, and any resultant surplus, as low as possible while still remaining fiscally responsible. While this ensures that tuition remains as low as possible, it also means we have no opportunity to absorb additional costs like NHI when they occur. Therefore, principally due to the additional cost of NHI, we have decided to increase tuition by an average of 4.5 percent,” he said.

“We understand that this increase represents an additional financial burden on families, and the School continues to offer various avenues of assistance should there be a need,” he said.

When we visited the school with the hope of speaking to Crawford we were told that he was on a class outing off island and that he will be returning on Monday May 30, 2016.

Speaking to this news site was Office Manager Vanessa Simon, who explained that every year there is an increase in the school’s tuition fees but the increase is usually about 2 percent. She said that with the addition of NHI this year that increase was steeper than usual. She said that with NHI it is understandable that things are harder for everyone, including the school.

She, however, directed further queries to Mr Crawford.

It is this news site’s understanding that many parents of the school’s 240 students are unhappy with the increase; however, they declined to put their concerns on record.

"I am already paying college fees at that school," one parent who was concerned about the latest increase in tuition stated.

53 Responses to “Cedar School blames NHI for fees increase”

  • SMH (26/05/2016, 08:26) Like (47) Dislike (30) Reply
    it's not nhi fault it is greed why should education cost so much
  • Professional Complainers strike again (26/05/2016, 08:27) Like (35) Dislike (19) Reply
    A small number of the parents complain about every fee increase - normally the same parents that complain that there are not enough teachers or that the school needs better quality teachers. The option is simple - nobody makes a parent send their children to Cedar. The reality is that most parents are taking 2 or 3 holidays a year and can well afford it, and the school provides need based scholarships for those that can't afford it. My children went to Cedar, and it set them up well for their further education.
  • rattie (26/05/2016, 08:44) Like (15) Dislike (13) Reply
    see how the policies of this government affecting the private sector
  • Hmmmm (26/05/2016, 08:58) Like (23) Dislike (5) Reply
    NHI costing a lot more than just 7.5% of peoples income. Lets understand people....i now have 7.5% less of my salary and have to pay on average 4.5% more for school fees, foods and even medical services of all things.
    • True (26/05/2016, 10:08) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
      no you have 3.75% less and health insurance.......
      • Really (28/05/2016, 10:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Only if the services you need are here. Which for some people they are not. And the NHI is not accepted next door in STT. So you may end up spending more money travelling further away. The point is NHI has caused and will continue to cause stress to the lives of people living here. And FYI not everyone at Cedar is rich and takes 2 and 3 vacations a year. There are regular folks who just trying to provide a good life for their children.
  • parent (26/05/2016, 09:00) Like (27) Dislike (30) Reply
    If Cedar School raising fees because of NHI then they should pay the insure for the students, because they make it sound as if they are paying all the students insurance and not the parents. this is a bag of nonsense. All the parents need to protest this hike in the fees.
  • BULL! (26/05/2016, 09:30) Like (30) Dislike (54) Reply

    Too much black kidz coming in now so this is just an excuse to detour some of them?

    • Call a racist a racist (26/05/2016, 11:16) Like (22) Dislike (17) Reply
      You are a racist
      • Citizen (26/05/2016, 14:56) Like (18) Dislike (15) Reply
        The comment is only calling a spade a spade. Nothing racist to the comment. It is facts.
      • Tallfat (26/05/2016, 20:17) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
        Does everyone who has an opinion on a matter where color is mentioned is a racist? like really ? A simpleton remark is labelled racist without any caviats to go with it? please! I am not in agreement with the remark but I will not label it it racist because it seems a bit dismissive without investigating.
    • B Savage (26/05/2016, 11:43) Like (8) Dislike (13) Reply
    • groan (26/05/2016, 13:01) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
      Always one racist person smh
    • @ BULL! (26/05/2016, 22:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Yes sah, mouth open and story dey jump out. Tek a seat and hold on.
  • Tuition (26/05/2016, 09:32) Like (12) Dislike (8) Reply
    I disagree with "to Professional Complainers strike again". I dare say that there are likely a significant number of very dissatisfied Cedar parents. I personally have had numerous parents express to me their dissatisfaction. I also disagree with your comment that most Cedar parents take 2 or 3 holidays a year. Yes, the are certainly those that do (fortunate for them, and likely several sit on the school board), but MANY do not and regardless, does not make a 4.5% tuition increase reasonable or acceptable. Cedar and the board has done a disservice to its target audience and the bulk of those who keep the school going....not the top 10% wealthy but the remaining who don't take 2-3 holidays a year so that they can send their child to the school.
    • who (26/05/2016, 10:39) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      Agree with you. 'Professional Complainers strike again'- probably sits on the school board or is a current parent and falls in that % that take 2-3 vacation annually.
      • @tuition (26/05/2016, 16:45) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
        Being a past Cedar parent of two children myself, I sympathize; but I do not think the increase in the tuition is so much the issue for me. For me, when you get to spending $1800 per child to attend a school, another $60 or $70 increase per year really would not make that much of a difference as if you are paying those fees, it would be on the basis that you expect an increase annually and you ensure that you are reasobably leveraged for it. If these increase cause such great consternation, then perhaps the financial sacrifice might be too great for the particular circumstances (if there was ever such a thing as it concern our children). The issue for me is value for money. Cedar has no proper art (music, theatre, visual) programs, no well-rounded athletic programs, no swimming pool, no real outdoor facilities, no gym etc. and the tuition approximate as if it has to pay to make these offerings available. Cedar seeks to be on par with other international schools on tuition costs but not on available programs and facilities and to some extent, it is a non sense. In fact, the tuition is more than international schools (value for value) in other places and more than Antilles in St. Thomas (who has a reputation in can stand on). With all the complaining however, I paid the price and left my children there until about the 10th grade when different pastures called, and I believe today they are the better for it. Hence, as hard to swallow as some of the issues were, for me it was still the best of the choices available to me at the time and that's the best we can do for our children, do what is best and within our capabilities at any point in time.
        • yes (26/05/2016, 19:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          You made really valid points @tution. Not getting value for money but the board fail to see and address. Also like you said best choice available at this time.
  • Concerned (26/05/2016, 10:21) Like (35) Dislike (16) Reply
    Cedar School gets funding from almost every trust company in the BVI, they are just too greedy. Their fees are already high, they have the best facilities that other people pays for, and they can't pay their NHI?
    Bunch of crap!
  • @ Tuition (26/05/2016, 11:19) Like (9) Dislike (8) Reply
    ... any parent that does not like the fees is free to send their child elsewhere.

    Cedar does not make a profit! If they can;t cover theor costs, then they will go bust. I expect salaries are the most expensive item in Cedar's budget - it has just gone up 3.75%
    • Truth (26/05/2016, 14:05) Like (5) Dislike (7) Reply
      Cedar records profit every year. Check their financial statements.
  • True (26/05/2016, 12:15) Like (22) Dislike (9) Reply
    Well let's look at it, sending your kid's to paid school or not they aways end up in the same university and same job like all others. So why pay all this well needed money
    Send your children to regular school and stop giving Cedar your money.
  • John (26/05/2016, 12:23) Like (20) Dislike (7) Reply
    I don't see what the fuss is about. There is a simple way to solve the problem. Don't send your children to Cedar if you cannot afford to.
    • B Savage (26/05/2016, 13:29) Like (18) Dislike (23) Reply
      This is an EDOMITE talking and when he says "Don't send your kids to Cedar if you can't afford it." He means your BLACK KIDS. Cause he knows all the white people on this island either run or operate Trust Companies or their own business. When NDP finish WHITE WASHING this place you all going learn.
      • clown (26/05/2016, 16:14) Like (14) Dislike (4) Reply
        OK OK so you have learnt a new word , give it a break , you sound like a broken scratched record that needs throwing away. Stop being a bigot and get that chip off your shoulder.
  • Street reporter (26/05/2016, 13:09) Like (18) Dislike (12) Reply
    This is an Evil, greedy and prejudice organization. Why is it so bad or wrong to have their workers insured. Stupes. Stop Scape goating NHI and the Government. Be glad your workers are insured. Its a good thing.
    • chad (26/05/2016, 14:38) Like (16) Dislike (5) Reply
      Evil (educating kids), Greedy (non-profit organisation), prejudice (open to all)! And I didn't see anywhere in the article that they say NHI is a bad thing. In fact they say NHI is providing a valuable social service. Maybe you didn't read it, or are on another planet.
  • concern (26/05/2016, 15:19) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    Cedar was paying Health Insurance before so what is the big deal now. Just sayin
  • bat cave (26/05/2016, 15:30) Like (8) Dislike (12) Reply
    This is another way to get the local population at the school reduced. Remember when the locals used to flock to bat cave in droves they implemented a fifteen dollars entry fee. It is time we support our own contribute to the public schools.
  • Why (26/05/2016, 16:01) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    As far as I understand children are covered by government so why do the parents have to cover NHI fee at that school.Are the parents paying the teachers NHI?
  • appalling (26/05/2016, 16:23) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Cedar school was created years ago as an alternative to the appalling state of the public schools , it is open to all who can afford it like all private schools,.
  • bvi (26/05/2016, 16:45) Like (4) Dislike (11) Reply
    They always wanted to raise their fees, now they using nhi as the scapegoat excuse to do so.
  • I fed up (26/05/2016, 17:23) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Right now I'm thinking of home school for my kids and yes it can work here in the BVI
  • Government Regulations (26/05/2016, 18:49) Like (11) Dislike (10) Reply
    I believe that all private schools in BVI should be regulated to ensure that there is not such a great disparity in school fees creating a class division in the society.

    While the super rich are are paying super fees and sending their kids to Cedar, there are some parents who cannot even buy uniforms and books nor feed properly their children to send them to the public schools.

    Is this the society we want to promote here in this little country?

    The fees collected by Cedar could provide salaries for hundreds of the unemployed or underemployed. Unfortunately, there are those who can afford to pay the high school fees even with the increase. Let them pay. What a shame - nonprofit me foot.
  • street reporter. (26/05/2016, 19:01) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    If they were paying insurance for their workers before NHI. What's their issue.? Getting insurance for all their staff and not a chosen few
  • Meanwhile (26/05/2016, 20:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    People cursing over Cedar and St. Georges advertising. Look to the right, big commercial promoting St. Georges, love it!
  • Teachers salary (26/05/2016, 22:45) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
    Just imagine one of their teacher resigned from the HLSCC (full time) to teach their full time ... The pay has to be lovely. Take 3.75% of that and you see why they increase. Also note if they claim it's because of NHI the increase should have been the 3.75% instead of the 4.5
    • No (27/05/2016, 23:01) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      The teachers' salaries are not high and are certainly not lovely. They are paid minimally and the salaries do not match the cost of living on this island. Yes, salaries are a major expense for the school. But I can gaurentee you that no teacher at Cedar is "getting rich" from the increases. The fact is that it costs money to run a school. Sure, there is no proper gym or pool. But you'd be hard pressed to find a school on the island that even remotely compares to the level of education provided at Cedar.
  • B Savage (27/05/2016, 12:46) Like (0) Dislike (10) Reply
    • chad (27/05/2016, 14:15) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      So in your mind a well educated local is a caucasian? A very sad world view.
    • @ B Savage (27/05/2016, 23:13) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      ...And that would be the *best* thing to happen to any of the local kids! The last thing this island needs is more people like you- creating division and spreading hate and ignorance. Take a look around, this island would not survive without the revenue and income brought in by the "Edomites." Say what you want, but you'd never make it without us. The only people 'wasting away' on this island are your fellow locals.
  • MPJ (27/05/2016, 15:52) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fees are can either pay them or you can't. If you can't afford cedar but want a more solid education for your child there are scholarships to be had.
    I agree the facilities are lacking as a proper art/music/gym/pool would be nice and someday maybe there will be because the school is still young and growing.
    The teachers salaries aren't high and it's mandatory to have NHI so it is what it is.
    As for all the racist comments, if you had a proper education you wouldn't be making them....they're ignorant, disrespectful and inappropriate. We "the expats" are where we are because of a huge amount of education and experience. We aren't here taking anyone's jobs as most locals aren't educated or qualified to do them. We stimulate, contribute to and benefit your local economy which enhances your "local" life.
    Kids don't see color or money, they make friends and coexist because they just want to play. Racism is taught at home and is wrong. I've met far more racist people in the local community and none in the expat community.
    The young black kids need to get an education, learn to speak eloquently, they need to learn that there's a big wonderful world out there full of opportunity and cedar gives a lot of them that opportunity.
  • former student (28/05/2016, 09:09) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    I am a former student who now is enrolled in a REAL school! Cedar is truly a sore excuse of simply giving out a high school diploma without any proper teaching. I am now studying in not only a cheaper school but a much greater school. The school I attend has actual High School facilities, such as indoor basketball courts, a gym, bathrooms (with showers), 2 proper Science Laboratories as well as a pool. Cedar has changed so much from when I first started (In 2008). Now it just raises its fees more and more, and for what? To drive some students away..? hmm maybe they could raffle off another car to bring in some extra funds as that seems to work for them.. They seem more interested in raffling off cars to the island instead of actually being invested in educating the youth of this island.
  • Puppets (28/05/2016, 15:52) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Those black parents who are willing to pay such exorbitantly high school fees like $1800.00 a month are clearly just puppet's of the establishment system.

    There is no need to pay so much for your child to get through high school and be successful in life. Cedar is a status symbol.

  • Hang on (29/05/2016, 08:59) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply

    If I understand it the Govt doesn't let expat children into the school system which is why private schools are around. However those who say it is racist are wrong.
    Personally I think it is better if all the children had to go to public schools so they all got to mix together. It would help end this bullsh.t us and them crap. Kids don't see Colour and racism - they are taught it from their parents.

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