Education Ministry Allocating $18m To State-Run Children’s Homes for Christmas

Photo: Adrian Walker Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be disbursing approximately $18 million to Government-run children’s homes for Christmas.
  • He made the announcement during the Ministry’s ‘Christmas Celebration’ cocktails and dinner, which was held at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Worthington Avenue, New Kingston, on Thursday, December 21.
  • The Minister also reminded them that once they qualify to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, “we are paying for up to eight subjects for those students (who are either) in our children’s homes, (are) wards of the State or are in the PATH”.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be disbursing approximately $18 million to Government-run children’s homes for Christmas.

Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says this is being done to ensure that youth in State care are afforded the opportunity to share in the joy and happiness of the Yuletide season.

He made the announcement during the Ministry’s ‘Christmas Celebration’ cocktails and dinner, which was held at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Worthington Avenue, New Kingston, on Thursday, December 21.

A total of $1 million was presented to each of the five institutions represented at the function by wards and their caregivers.

These were Maxfield Park Children’s Home; Sunbeam Home for Boys; Mona Rehabilitation Centre; St. Anthony’s Children’s Home; and St. Mary’s Girls’ Home.

The Minister assured that funds “will reach the accounts of the other children’s homes before Christmas”.

Meanwhile, Senator Reid advised that the Ministry will be lobbying the Government’s provision of additional funding in 2018 to further boost support for wards of the State.

“We are looking forward, in next year’s budget, to increase our contribution. It is important that we give this kind of support to make sure that our children are well taken care of,” he added.

Senator Reid, in offering words of encouragement to the youngsters, reiterated the support that the Ministry offers to them, and urged them to take advantage of this.

“Within the funding of our school system, we have targeted those who are wards of the State (and) those who are on the PATH (Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education), making sure that they (benefit from) five days (of) lunch (provided) in our schools (and) making sure that all of them have personal insurance coverage, whether (they are in the) primary- or the high-school system,” he stated.

The Minister also reminded them that once they qualify to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, “we are paying for up to eight subjects for those students (who are either) in our children’s homes, (are) wards of the State or are in the PATH”.

“In addition, we certainly (will continue to) partner with tertiary institutions to ensure that we find a way to support children coming out of State care and the vulnerable, (so) that we find a way to support them as they qualify for tertiary education,” he indicated.

Senator Reid emphasised that “investing in our children is an investment in Jamaica’s future. If we want Jamaica to prosper, we have to invest in our children (and) we have to invest in them in the earliest years”.

Approximately 70 wards of the State along with their caregivers, as well as youngsters from Seaview Gardens in Kingston, were treated at the event.

JIS Social