AS part of the government’s efforts to ensure children eat healthy, hundreds of Grade Six pupils in Region Two on Monday began receiving a morning meal under the Ministry of Education’s breakfast programme.
The programme was officially launched on Thursday at the Taymouth Manor Primary School by Minister of Education Priya Manickchand.
While delivering the feature address, Minister Manickchand said that for the first time, every primary school on the Essequibo Coast that was not benefitting from the programme will now do so..
“I want to say that this is the first time the Essequibo Coast is benefitting from the breakfast programme. When President Jagdeo was President and in office, we started the school feeding programme from nursery to Grade Two… The biscuit and juice were given to every single child; then President Jagdeo added that all hinterland and riverine communities will also benefit from the hot meal,” Minister Manickchand said.
She added that since the launch of the programme, there has been a significant increase in the attendance and enrollment rate in schools across the country.
Additionally, the programme will guarantee the employment of 15 women.
The minister said that the meal will include a pack of cereal that is produced by the cereal plant in Anna Regina.
“Of the 15 schools on the coast that are benefitting from it, 15 women will be service providers; we asked for persons that we thought we can boost with employment. So, this programme gives your children a breakfast; it has re-opened an entire business at the Anna Regina Cereal Plant,” she added.
Region Two Chairperson Vilma De Silva said that the launch of the programme is proof that education is the Government of Guyana’s number one priority.
De Silva said that pupils will now be “filled”, and can focus more while at school.
She added that the regional administration is focusing its attention on improving the environment at all schools.
Headmistress of Taymouth Manor Primary School Christine Carter said she is very happy that the school was selected for the launch of the programme.
She extended gratitude on behalf of the school’s PTA and pupils for the breakfast that is being provided. She said the pupils are very excited, and many of them are coming early to receive the meal.
This year, the Ministry of Education will be spending $267 million on the breakfast programme, which targets every Grade Six pupil in Guyana. Those living in the hinterland regions are already benefitting from a separate feeding programme.