956 students to benefit from National Breakfast Programme in Region 10
– Min Manickchand officially launches initiative
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand on Tuesday officially launched the $267 million National Breakfast Programme in Linden, Region 10 at the Mackenzie Primary School.
The initiative forms part of the national feeding programme which totals $2 billion.
“What is the state’s duty? What is the state’s duty when we find that we have young children who need our help? It is our duty to brace. It’s our duty to help as far as our finances will allow and that is not disputable. The research around the world says that children whose bellies are full learn better,’ Minister Manickchand said as she addressed parents, teachers and students.
The programme will ensure that all students at the grade six level receive a warm and nutritious breakfast every day. Approximately 956 students in 29 primary schools in Linden, Region 10 will benefit.
“Today, Region 10 is getting that programme and it will continue and let me tell you the facets of the programme. Every single grade six child will get breakfast. Why grade six? Because they’re in an exam class. So, we have to start and I think that will be the best place to start,” the minister stated.
The aim of the programme is to ensure that children in all regions have sufficient nourishment to promote learning and ease the financial burden on parents.
One teacher at the Mackenzie Primary school, Miss Ishola expressed gratitude for the programme.
“I feel it’s a pretty good initiative, especially for the less fortunate children because many times we have children coming to school without lunch or something to eat and us, the teachers would have to take something out of our pockets to buy them something to eat. So, I believe this school feeding programme is a great initiative and kudos to the Minister of Education,”
The Breakfast programme will also generate employment within the community. Single mothers looking for a way to earn an income will be given the opportunity to supply meals to the primary schools throughout Linden.
The minister also urged these individuals to maintain a standard in the preparation and distribution of the meals.
“I will not be eating breakfast in my house, for the next year, I’m eating breakfast at these schools and it best be something that I can eat. I’m saying that to say if my children can’t eat it, I don’t want your child to eat it. And so, we will try very hard to maintain a standard on these programmes that hopefully will see our children getting what we intend,” the minister said.
The initiative also forms part of government’s plan to expand the national feeding programme in all primary schools across Guyana. Under the PPP/C Administration, students in the hinterland were the first to benefit.
In the coming weeks, primary schools in all coastal regions will become beneficiaries.