BREAKING NEWS – RI is planning to charge students for the use of non-essential shared school facilities, in an effort to cut costs. The changes are expected to affect both Year 1-4 and Year 5-6 students and are effective from the 2nd of April. We have been assured that the changes have been made “after due consideration … with the best interests of students in mind.”
Raffles Press has been informed that the school WLAN network, the gyms, the Hong Leong Swimming Pool, the Library and the Open Labs will all come under the umbrella of chargeable facilities. Internet rates are expected to be competitive, with the school planning to charge $2 per hour of use. The library entrance fee will be 20 cents, and is going to be deducted from student ez-link cards upon entry. Charges for pool and gym usage will also be lower than that of existing alternatives, with a flat $4 weekly fee for unlimited entry into both facilities. We understand that this scheme will be integrated with the goto.ri portal, providing students an easy way to track the amount which they owe the school on a weekly basis. Specific to Internet usage, we have been told that upon trying to log in, students will be met with a pop-up warning them of the new payment model.
To ensure that CCAs will still have access to crucial facilities, we also understand that group rates have already been calculated and deducted from their respective budgets. Shooting team captain, Magdalene Teo (14A01B), shared, “It’s really unfortunate that we now have to pay for using the Internet or the school gym. I’ve had to keep all our rifles at the back of my class to avoid paying the storage charges. But what can we do?” Daniel Boey, the captain of the track team told us that “(the track team) has resorted to bench-pressing old car tyres and sneaking into condominium gyms in an effort to save on club funds.”
Student response to this pay-per-use scheme has, understandably, been mixed. Lim Buff Boey (14S04A) argues, “The school could have cut costs in other ways – like shutting off the air-con. Why charge for the gym and the swimming pool?” Concerned parent Mrs. Ong Kay Poh added: “We already pay for these facilities through school fees! Why charge extra?” On the flip side, Anthony Slacker (15S06C) pointed out that “students who rarely use these shared facilities and have 3G access have little to worry about.”
Based on such feedback from students and Council, the school intends to roll out package plans in the near future, bundling certain services based on student preferences – the Study Package, for instance, will grant students unlimited Internet access, weekly use of the Open Labs and the school library. Download this document for more information on these packages: Package Information (Student Only). For the school announcement in PDF format, click here: Facility Charges Announcement (Student)