Unemployed father calls for support with school fees

POSTED: 08/12/14 11:24 PM

Anonymous businessman helped him out, but there are others

St. Maarten – George Antoine Hodge is an unemployed father who struggles financially. With the new school year beginning today, there are school fees to be paid. He turned to Julian Rollocks who took him on a tour until they found a businessman (who wishes to remain anonymous) prepared to pay the school fees for his 16-year-old son George Jr.

Hodge is obviously happy with the support but he is also aware that there are many others on the island facing similar financial problems. “This is why I call on the business community to help others as well with their school fees,” he told this newspaper yesterday.

Entrepreneurs who want to help others in need out may call Hodge at 587 12 65.

In the meantime, Rollocks said that he also found a businessman prepared to help financing the lunch program at the Martin Luther King School in Dutch Quarter.

That the school fees are a burden to many families appears from the raw figures Rollocks collected. Quite some parents are faced with a $428 annual school fee and that does not cover the costs for the school uniform, shoes and books. At the National Institute for Professional Advancement (Nipa) one parent was confronted with a school fee of $936.

George Hodge has not taste for remaining unemployed. “I’ll do anything,” he says, “from cleaning floors and taking out the garbage to driving a delivery truck.”

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