KINGSTON — Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, says his Ministry will investigate nutrition programmes at schools with complaints of discrimination against students in the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
Speaking Wednesday September 14 at a back-to-school initiative organised by Allied Insurance Brokers and First Global Bank, at the Calabar Infant, Primary and Junior High School in Kingston, Mr. Holness said that if it is confirmed, he will enact legislation to outlaw the practice.
“We have been receiving complaints, letters and have had reports from education officers… the Ministry of Education plans to launch an investigation into the operation of the nutrition programmes in schools, particularly to determine the extent of the discrimination in the programme,” the Minister said.
He noted that PATH only provides meals for students for three days, and commended school leadership for initiating programmes to assist needy students on the other two days. He said that the education system must allow children to develop, and not have their self-esteem destroyed by any form of malpractice from those overseeing their growth.
“The education sector must teach respect for everyone, it must seek to build and not tear down self esteem. It must seek to tear down barriers and strive for equity and equality. The education system must not be the place where our students face any form of discrimination,” Mr. Holness insisted.
“And I want to encourage other corporate citizens, not just to support back-to-school but, to support keeping our students in school, and the nutrition programme is the best way to support keeping our students in school,” he stated.
Mr. Holness congratulated both Allied Insurance Brokers and First Global Bank for their invaluable support for the school, in terms of books and nutrition.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter