THE Ministry of Education’s National School Feeding Programme (NSFP) has expanded to benefit over 16,000 students across 172 schools countrywide, representing an over 300 percent increase since 2015.
This fact that was highlighted by Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan as he delivered remarks at an APNU+AFC Public Meeting held at the Kitty Market Square on Sunday.
Bulkan noted that in 2015, when the government changed, the programme was benefitting approximately 3,500 students across 110 schools.
The NSFP, which targets all public nursery schools, and all Grades 1 and 2 of primary schools, sees students receiving locally made biscuits and juices.
This programme was implemented in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10 while Regions 7, 8 and 9 were targeted separately. The programme has significantly resulted in an increase in school attendance across the country.
The David Granger 5Bs Initiative, implemented by President David Granger, also saw many students receiving hot breakfasts, as well as bus, boats, and bicycles all aimed at increasing school attendance, particularly in Guyana’s hinterland regions.
“This administration is ensuring more of our young children attend school. Free transportation for our school children enabled them to attend school. Under our government the hot meal programme increased number of schools benefitting from 110 to 172 schools, the number of students benefitting from approximately 3500 to in excess of 16,000. Almost three times in four years, moving forward under the visionary leadership of President Granger,” Bulkan told the crowd.
Bulkan dared citizens to size up the developments made under the four and half years that APNU+AFC was in government, compared to what was done by the main opposition, People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC), in the preceding 23 years it was in government.
“If you want to continue to enjoy that right you know what we have to do… vote APNU+AFC. The coalition is about unity,” Bulkan conveyed.
Still in education, Bulkan said that billions of dollars was invested into the Education Sector for the construction of new schools while improving those in need of repairs.
Bulkan also point to the massive transformation and development that have taken place under his own Ministry, which in its short existence has restored the local government system, and has decentralised many public services.
He emphasised the impartiality of the government, which did not look to develop areas based on any partisan factors.
“This administration doesn’t look at the texture of your hair or the colour of your skin when it is making decisions. This administration understands and operates as if Guyana belongs to every Guyanese,” Bulkan noted.
Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, during her remarks, alluded to some of the tangible developments across the country.
“We have witnessed the development across this country. Roads, bridges, water, lights in our streets, security, improvements in so many, many areas. We also know that Rome was not built in a day; we know that there is still much more to be done. And after March 2, we will get on with the business of building this nation,” Lawrence said, to cheers from the crowd.
“Today all of us have witnessed that Guyana is moving forward, and that’s why we must never go backwards. We know that President David Granger is the only qualified candidate in this election. They can’t stand up next to his honesty, diplomacy, respect for man woman and child. He has offered us a good life, a decent life. But they want to take us back to the lawlessness, “whine up” on you and “whine up” on me. We don’t want that anymore.
We want decency. We want a decent president, and honest president,” she told the people.
She stressed the importance of the decision that citizens have to make on March 2, when Guyana holds its next General and Regional Elections.
Bulkan and Lawrence were among a number of speakers who gave remarks at the event. Others speaking included Mayor of Georgetown Ubraj Narine, and AFC executive Imran Khan, among others.