President David Granger yesterday distributed 21 bicycles to children enrolled in the Sophia Literacy Programme at Congress Place, to assist them with transportation to school and also announced that the centre will receive a subvention to ensure its survival.
According to a press release from the Ministry of the Presidency, the bicycles were donated by Managing Director of GAICO Construction Incorporated Komal Singh to the ‘Boats, Bicycles and Buses’ (three Bs) programme managed by the Ministry of Social Cohesion.
The President, who engaged the children briefly, was quoted as saying to them: “I want to see you with good furniture, with good libraries, with good laboratories, with computers to do your training.
So, from this year December you will be getting a subvention to have adequate facilities.”
The release said the Head of State also reminded the children about the importance of education, and called on them to utilise the opportunities available to them. The literacy programme, the President said, should be used as a stepping stone for advanced educational opportunities, which are also available.
The release said Singh expressed pleasure at being associated with the three Bs initiative, which affords every child the opportunity to attend school.
“We are very strong in supporting the three Bs programme… primarily because it focuses on our children, since our children are so important for tomorrow,” he was quoted as saying.
The Sophia Literacy Programme was started in 2006 with the aim of giving school age children additional support in literacy, the release said. It currently conducts classes every Saturday for two hours at its three centres: Congress Place, and churches in ‘C’ Field and ‘D’ Field Sophia.
According to the release, one of the organisers of the programme, Carol Corbin, welcomed the President’s announcement of a subvention, as it will allow them to provide additional services to a larger group of children. She explained that the subvention will allow organisers to recruit more trained teachers, while allowing them to provide meals and other much needed services to the children who attend the classes.
In addition to the bicycles given to some of the children, each child was presented with a gift and entertainment was provided as well.