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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Ministries of Labour and Social Security and Education, aimed at increasing attendance among students in four high schools in the parish of Clarendon.

The pilot project, which is dubbed, ‘School wi Seh’, is an initiative of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and is expected to last for one year.

The four schools targeted are: Edwin Allen High, Kemps Hill High, Claude Mackay High and Central High Schools.

Speaking at the signing, held at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, on North Street in downtown Kingston, on February 26, Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said the campaign’s goal is to reduce non-attendance in schools by 10 per cent over a one year period, through a Compliance Intervention Strategy (CIS).

“The compliance intervention strategy seeks to empower schools to address the issue of compliance among PATH beneficiaries, by providing them with resources of a maximum of $500,000 to develop and implement localised interventions,” he stated.

He pointed out that the CIS requires each school to develop a work plan, based on its own peculiarities, noting that “this is not a one size fit all strategy”.

In the meantime, Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, said plans are in place to offer fortified juices to children in schools across Jamaica later this year.

The Minister said the initiative is aimed at supporting local farmers and to reduce the money spent on imported juices, often of very little nutritional value, which are being served in schools across the island.

“The fact is that for many of our children the food that they get in school is the only nutrition that they have for the day,” he stated.

“We will also be able to offer some kind of baked product, which will be made of local raw materials,” the Minister added.