Ministry of Education, Guyana

Wednesday, 22 June 2011 05:03

Uniform distribution programme off to a smooth start

Minister Shaik Baksh urges parents to make full use of the intervention

The Education Ministry yesterday commenced distribution of school uniform vouchers to parents as it strengthens the push to bolster students’ attendance throughout the country.

The $300M programme, covering nursery, primary and secondary schools learners countrywide went smoothly and parents turned out in resounding numbers.They expressed their gratitude to the government, noting that the intervention is both timely and significant.

Education Minister Shaik Baksh on an inspection visit to the Graham’s Hall and West Ruimveldt primary schools to observe the process urged parents to make full use of the intervention.

He explained that a relative can uplift the voucher(s) in the absence of the parent but must provide an identification card, or, the child/children’s report card(s).

The vouchers worth $1500 each are distributed by the learner’s class teacher. At the primary and secondary level, the distribution commences at 14:30 hours and concludes at 17:30 hours. At nursery schools, the distribution is done between 12:00 and 14:00 hours. Phase one of the programme will end on June 8.

The vouchers are redeemable at designated stores in the regions the children reside.

Apart from the school uniform programme, government has also implemented a $1billion school feeding programme which is also geared to improve students’ attendance and performance.

This initiative benefits more than 51,000 learners. It caters for pupils of all nursery schools and those up to Grade Two at the primary level throughout the country.Initial reports have indicated that the programme has already started to generate positive results.These initiatives are part of a broad effort by government to improve students’ attendance, build their self esteem, provide them a better opportunity to complete school, receive a sound education and make a meaningful contribution to society.

Baksh also announced that during the July/ August holidays; a national remedial programme will begin, targeting mainly the poor performers in the areas of English and Mathematics, at both primary and secondary schools.

The Education Ministry is pushing for these learners to take their studies seriously and strive to be on top of their work when school reopens in September.

The national remedial progarmme seeks to provide supplementary tuition to learners who gained less than 50 per cent at the 2010/2011 annual end-of-year examination in the two core subject areas. The objective of the programme is to upgrading these learners to an acceptable level in the areas of literacy and numeracy so that they would be better able to cope with their studies in their new class when school reopens in September.

Last year, some 13,500 children were part of the one month; short term enrichment programme which is was delivered by 800 teachers. These teachers were trained to impart the programme in a fun-filled manner and the same format will be used this year.

It is will be delivered to targeted learners in clusters at selected schools. The classes will be small to ensure they receive individual attention.

In addition, the learners will be provided with snacks on a daily basis and their teachers will be paid a handsome stipend.

The headteachers of Graham’s Hall and West Ruimveldt primary schools lauded the initiative, pointing out that it will provide much needed support to their weak pupils and give them the momentum to up their performance when school reopens.

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