Ministry’s child welfare services boosted with computers

Educare (Guyana) Inc on Monday donated five computer systems to the Ministry of Education’s Schools Welfare Services Department to aid it in fulfilling its mandate.

Pulandar Kandhi
Pulandar Kandhi

Permanent Secretary at the ministry Pulandar Kandhi said the ministry’s mandate is to provide each child with basic education and that its welfare services were restructured to embrace this        challenge. Twenty-six new welfare officers were added to the department to better address the wellbeing of children countrywide, a press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) said. Welfare officers are now stationed in all regions.

Kandhi said he was grateful to Educare for aiding the ministry in this area. He said the computers will make a great impact in helping the ministry to readily access welfare information. He said it is committed to ensuring that each child is accounted for and that there is collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and other stakeholders including UNICEF, in addressing issues of child labour and delinquency.

At the handing over exercise President of Partners of Americas Guyana Chapter Collin Beaton said “we have worked with EDUCARE to make sure that the Ministry benefits from cutting edge technology and this is one of the results.” He said too his is confident that the welfare department will use the computers for the betterment and better monitoring of children across the country.

Meanwhile, Educare Project Coordinator Ed Denham noted that the programme seeks to ensure that every child in Guyana has quality education and as a result it is pleased to be part of improving the works of the welfare department. He said too it is important to give good records on vulnerable children and to manage a good database because development is driven by quality information. According to GINA Educare Guyana is funded by the United States Department of Labour and is executed by Partners of the Americas International with the objective of supporting the eradication of child labour in Guyana through education. The US$2M project was launched in October 2005 and will run until March.

Meanwhile, Chief Schools Welfare Officer Banwattie Ram noted that Educare approached the welfare department last year to discuss how it could assist in helping the ministry. The donation stemmed from that meeting. Ram said the daily operations of the department entails processing a lot of information and the systems will assist her officers in producing timely reports for better success. Ram also said that more new officers will be added to the department’s staff and this year it intends to focus on programmes for reintegrating teenagers into the school system, training of new officers and several workshops.

According to GINA the Schools Welfare Services Department launched the ‘Operation CARE’ campaign in 2001 and it has since proven to be successful as more children have been taken off the streets and are enrolled in schools. The campaign focuses on several areas of the child’s welfare including care, assessment, respect and education. Several agencies are collaborating with the department on the campaign including probation officers from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, police officers and trained volunteers.

The donation was made in the ministry’s boardroom at Brickdam.

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