An additional $230 million has been allocated to the nutritional support initiative this academic year to benefit students under the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
Director of the School Feeding Programme in the Ministry of Education, Helen Robertson, told a recent JIS Think Tank, that the additional amount will provide for an increase in the daily allocation for students in infant schools from $40 to $46 and $56 to $62 for older students.
A total of 210,000 students are to benefit under the nutritional support programme this school year, including 4,000 children in infant schools.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Roberston said that steps are being taken to eliminate any form of stigma and discrimination against students under PATH.
Last year, reports emerged that some schools, especially at the primary level, were giving specially marked lunch tickets to students, who benefit under PATH’s nutritional support programme, to distinguish them from other students.
Mrs. Robertson told JIS News that the Ministry has partnered with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) to embark on a sensitisation programme, which will be executed in the first-term of the school year.
“They (school administrators) have to find a way, behind the scenes, to do their school accounting, but we can’t have the children being put in a separate line or given a pink ticket while everyone else has a blue ticket. There are some best practices at some schools and we are going to try to encourage that across the system,” she stated.
She said the Government stands firm in ensuring the wellbeing of every beneficiary in the school system, irrespective of their socio-economic background.
A total of $2.54 billion has been allocated for PATH nutrition support this academic year.