Parents upset that school uniform voucher excludes fabric

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Parents of children attending the Newfield Primary School said they are not happy after being told they will not be able to use the school uniform grant voucher to secure the fabric to make their children’s uniforms.
Yesterday, two parents contacted OBSERVER media stating that staff at Lolita’s store told them they would need to pay $15 per yard for the dark green and white checkered fabric, since they cannot use the voucher to get it.
One parent, who did not wished to be named, said she was further told to bring the child to the store to be measured and they would provide the one uniform for the voucher.
“That can’t be fair, usually we could get the fabric and pay a seamstress or tailor to sew the uniform. It shouldn’t matter if it’s fabric or uniform the parent get once the child gets the uniform,” the woman said.
The other parent said she usually purchases the material from the Market Street store and have the uniform made for her two children, at a cost. She noted depending on how the tailor cuts the fabric she could sometimes get two uniforms.
The two women said they consider the policy to be unfair since Lolita’s is the only store that imports the fabric since the school merged with Bethesda Primary School last September.
The mother of two said she contacted the Ministry of Education yesterday and was transferred to the accounts department where she was informed parents would be notified later where they can get the uniforms.
OBSERVER media tried unsuccessfully to speak to that individual who was said to be part of a panel interviewing teachers for the new school year.
The owner of the store, Lolita Aflak told OBSERVER media yesterday that she had previously been barred from the programme for breaching the contract.
Aflak admitted that she was contracted by the ministry to provide one ready-made uniform per voucher, however when the store ran out of garments she would convert the voucher amount and give parents the equivalent material.
“The contract says I’m to provide made uniform but I used to help them out when I didn’t have the uniform by giving them the fabric. Two or three people came in already for [yesterday] morning saying they can’t get the uniform and I told them ‘Darling I can’t give the fabric for the voucher, you need to buy it,” the businesswoman said.
 
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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