In an effort to provide welfare services to students with minimal resources, the Education Ministry on Monday commissioned a mobile psychosocial unit.
“Many times we have our students with a lot of needs that are unmet, a lot of issues that are not addressed because we do not have either the capacity or the resources to undertake those,” Education Minister, Nicolette Henry said during her remarks at the commissioning ceremony.
The ceremony was held at the Ministry’s Lot 68 Brickdam office.
Minister Henry said that the majority of the country’s vulnerable youths are in the public school system.
“The learners have a right to be heard in matters that affect their life experiences in terms of Education,” she noted.
The cost to set up the unit is $16.3M and it will serve nursery to secondary school students across the coast, starting from Regions 3, 4 and Linden.
Schools Welfare Officer, Glenna Vyphius noted that the intervention follows complaints from schools about various welfare issues in far-flung areas where services are not accessible.
“Instead of them staying there and not getting support, we will go to them.”
Deputy Chief Education Officer (ag), Ingrid Trotman noted that often times children are affected by various issues which lead to poor academic performance and later reduced school attendance.
She said that that the focus of the intervention is to increase the learners’ ability to exercise control, to reduce the level of stress, to enhance learners’ resilience and to enable the person to use the most effective coping skills.
The programme will be extended to remote areas in the near future as resources become available.
The unit will work in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Protection.