40 mothers graduate from re-integration programme in Region Six
(February 6, 2020) – Forty mothers graduated today from the Ministry of Education’s Re-integration of Adolescent Mothers Programme in Region Six, East-Berbice – Corentyne.
The programme is being executed through the Ministry’s Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) Unit. The 40 young women are now certified in areas of hair braiding, make-up, manicure and pedicure, nail art and henna designs.
Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry said at the graduation exercise that the re-integration programme is necessary for young women to enjoy their right to an education which will provide the foundation to improve their lives and the lives of their children.
She said that the administrators of education would be derelict in their duties if they did not ensure that girls who become pregnant are given an opportunity to continue their schooling.
Minister Henry noted that previously when an adolescent girl became pregnant, her return to school, if considered, was often done at the discretion of the headteacher. “However, with this policy the schools are mandated to ensure that the child is reintegrated into the school system using one of the options that are available,” Minister Henry explained.
She added that teenage pregnancy is one of the major challenges standing in the way of girls’ education and their ability to achieve their full potential, especially when the necessary support systems are not in place.
Moreover, the Education Minister said that the goal of the re-integration policy is not only to manage the reintegration of adolescent mothers into the formal school system, but it is also to advance the prevention of adolescent pregnancy.
She said that as a nation, Guyana must continue to create opportunities for everyone, young or old. As such, Minister Henry said that the Government is committed to helping Guyanese in the journey of lifelong learning.
Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Kim Stephens during her remarks encouraged the graduates to be the best that they can be and that this can only be accomplished if they put what they were taught into action.
She expressed her gratitude to the Ministry of Education and the Government of Guyana for seeing it fit to bring such an initiative to the East Berbice region, specifically in Corriverton.
Regional Education Officer, Ms. Bhagmattie Lacruz told the graduates that they are now equipped with a skill set that they can go out into the world and reduce an economic restriction adolescent pregnancy might have created.
Executive Director of Family Awareness Consciousness Togetherness (FACT), Ms. Annette Jaundoo, said that some of the graduates have already begun to operate their own establishments and offering services to the public.
She said that in addition to the courses offered, the graduates received training in time management, decision making, job readiness over the 15 week period. She said that the students were able to build bonds and partnerships as they helped each other along the way to the finish line.
Each student received a certificate today as well as a start-up kit for their respective field of specialization and a care package.