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  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has emphasised the importance of good nutrition for the nation’s children, noting that 128,000 early childhood students across the island are being provided with lunch and breakfast by the Government.
  • Rev. Thwaites said that for students to learn…to be focused…to develop those wonderful minds, we have to ensure that they are properly fed and that they develop good eating habits,” the Minister said.
  • Rev. Thwaites pointed out that the home grown produce from the nation’s farms should make their way on to the plates of the youngsters, instead of what he called a “diet of fast food and imports.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has emphasised the importance of good nutrition for the nation’s children, noting that 128,000 early childhood students across the island are being provided with lunch and breakfast by the Government.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony for the  Infant Department at the Runaway Bay All Age School, in  St. Ann,  on  February 3, Rev. Thwaites said  that for students  to learn…to be focused…to develop those wonderful minds, we have to ensure that they are properly fed and that they develop good eating habits,” the Minister said.

Rev. Thwaites pointed out that the home grown produce from the nation’s farms should make their way on to the plates of the youngsters, instead of what he called a “diet of fast food and imports.”

“We need to be feeding them our vegetables, our porridge, the things that we grow. We don’t want to get to the point where our children get too obese, impeding their ability to learn. We have to ensure they are not eating the wrong calories. It is at the infant school level that proper nutrition is most critical,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Rev.  Thwaites said that primary schools are doing well, particularly in numeracy, as a result of the great improvement in early childhood education.

“The good results we are seeing at the primary and high school levels are a result of the good start students have been getting at the early childhood level,” he argued.

The Minister  implored parents to pay attention to any warning signs of learning disability on the part of their youngsters,  adding that the Ministry has a programme in place to assist.

“We want early childhood education to step up as never before. If you detect a learning challenge, a physical defect or something out of the ordinary in your child, please let us know. It is important that we reach that child before it is too late. We have a programme at the Ministry where we will do the therapy,” Rev. Thwaites said.