Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand on Tuesday launched the uniform and school supplies voucher distribution exercise in Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten), with visits to the Mackenzie High and One Mile Primary Schools, Linden.
During simple ceremonies at both schools, she assured students, teachers and parents that the government is committed to providing support to ensure that the nation’s children are educated.
Minister Manickchand said the government is cognisant of the usual struggles parents face, some of which have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Whether school opens next week or next month or even next year, you still need to put pencils in their book bags, you still need to put socks on their feet so why not give it to you as soon as we have it rather than have you wait and struggle while we have money at the Ministry? That is not how I operate. That is not how this government operates, and it will never be how we operate. If we have it, we will give it to you, and we hope that this can lighten your pockets,” Minister Manickchand told the parents.
She noted that her visit should serve as a reminder that the government has not forgotten the region nor the worries of parents.
“We wanted to come to let you know that we have not forgotten you and we have not been unconscious of how very concerned you are. We know that parents particularly are very worried about their children’s education and their future,” she said.
Meanwhile, several parents said they were grateful to the government for the initiative.
Simone Prince-London, a nurse and mother of three said, “it’s a great help because it can help you with some additional expenses that you would have over this pandemic season.”
Another parent, Yanick Copeland, also said he appreciated the gesture. “It’s good to know that these things can come in handy to assist persons in various ways. Sometimes it’s not only school items, but other items which can help facilitate learning.”
To date, voucher distribution has started in Regions Three, Five, Six and Nine.
Minister Manickchand said the ministry has worked tirelessly to ensure students at all levels are engaged academically through the radio, television via the Guyana Learning Channel, worksheets or virtually.
It was noted that worksheets have proven to be the most effective in reaching students at all levels across every region. (Extracted and modified from Department of Public Information)