Over 130,000 school uniform vouchers have been distributed ahead of next month’s reopening of schools, according to the Ministry of Education.
Education Minister Shaik Baksh, speaking at a recent forum, said that the date for the distribution of the vouchers was further extended to cater for those parents who could not have uplifted the incentive for various reasons. Distribution is currently ongoing at all schools across the country and the ministry said yesterday that it is urging parents who have not uplifted their entitlement to do so.
The $400M distribution programme, which covers nursery, primary and secondary schools students, began last month in regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, 10 and Georgetown. A relative can uplift the vouchers in the absence of the parent but must provide an identification card and the child’s report card.
The vouchers, which expire on September 15, are redeemable at several designated stores, including Ravina International, Alim Shah, Rayon House of Fashion, Guyana Stores, William Fogarty’s, Keishar’s, Giftland Office Max, Dhanmattie Heerall in Diamond Housing Scheme and the New Era Book Shop in Gafoors Shopping Mall. Vouchers for students leaving primary school are available at the secondary school that they would attend while pupils leaving the nursery system can uplift their incentive at the primary school they were placed.
The school uniform project was introduced in 2003 to boost school attendance in rural, riverain and hinterland communities. The current expansion of the programme is a fulfilment of a promise made by President Bharrat Jagdeo earlier in the year. These initiatives are part of a wider government effort to improve students’ attendance, build their self esteem, give them a better opportunity to complete school, receive a sound education and make a meaningful contribution to society, Baksh was reported as saying.
Meanwhile, the Ministry also said Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai will commence the hinterland programme by distributing the first batch of uniform materials in the Region Seven, Upper Mazaruni district tomorrow. Distribution of materials will continue during the second week of August. Some 27,000 students from 279 nursery, primary and secondary schools in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine are slated to benefit, according to the Ministry.
The materials that will be given to the schools will be tailored by the sewing groups in the various villages, thereby generating income while creating employment for the villagers. Along with the materials, other sewing items, such as tape measures, scissors, buttons, threads and zips will also be provided.