Tax trip up costly for high school students
A tropical island trip is fast becoming a mirage for geography students at One Tree Hill College.
The class of 27 year 13 students have been fundraising since November for the trip and believed they had paid in full, until an airfare misquote set them back $130 each.
Student Chris Earl, 18, says he was “pretty gutted” to hear the news, as the class is due to leave on September 21.
“Most of the class have parttime jobs and are paying for this off their own backs.”
They have also been holding sausage sizzles and selling entertainment books to make up the $1600 each originally quoted for the trip.
Deputy principal Nick Coughlan says the trip has run for the past nine years as part of the geography programme’s half year unit on tourism in Fiji.
“The students have managed to fund it every year.”
He says going on the 12day trip dramatically improves marks for the unit and is something students in the year below look forward to.
Students visit major centres of tourism in Fiji and look at facilities and transport, as well as attending lectures by those in the industry.
They also see how large resorts operate and spend time in a small village, helping with community work.
“This year’s trip was all under way and doing very well until the travel agent, who has been doing a great job, rang up very apologetic to say she had misquoted the airfares and not included taxes,” says Mr Coughlan.
The agent has since helped by getting Warriors merchandise to raffle and offering to help make up the difference with her own money.
“The students have worked themselves senseless with part-time jobs and fundraising. To get this news was quite a blow.”
The school is hoping to raise the extra funds through other avenues rather than ask the students to come up with it.
“They are aware of the scenario. The grand shortfall is about $3600. We’re trying not to think about it too much.”
The Mad Butcher Peter Leitch heard about the situation and has offered $260 towards it, covering the extra funds for two students.
And he’s challenging another 25 businesses or individuals to get on board and pay $130 each.
“These kids are trying to do something for themselves and it’s through a chain of circumstances that they ended up with this shortfall,” Mr Leitch says.
“Let’s get in and do something for them.”
Anyone wanting to donate money can contact Mr Coughlan on 579-5049 ext 702.
Help needed: Students Chris Earl, La Toya Searancke and deputy principal Nick Coughlan need to raise another $3600 for their school trip.