JIS News

The Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, will launch its back to school campaign, dubbed: “School Wi Seh”, on Tuesday, September 11, at the Kingston High School, starting at 10.00 a.m.

Project Director for PATH, Dunstan Bryan, told JIS News that the campaign aims to affirm the benefits of education by promoting regular school attendance, and subsequent completion, by youngsters in households benefitting under the programme.

He added that the initiative is designed to reinforce community participation by reaching out to parents, guardians and the general public, in an effort to secure their endorsement of education as one of the proven vehicles capable of “breaking the cycle of poverty”.

Mr. Bryan said based on previous tracking reports, there is a relatively high compliance at the beginning of some of the academic terms. He, however, lamented that this gradually tapers off and is soon eclipsed by a steady decline in students’ attendance at school, an anomaly which he said PATH is currently seeking to address, through several interventions.

"In a comparative analysis of the 2010 and 2011 compliance reports, there is consistent decline in most parishes, among students at the Grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 13 levels, at 87% and 83% respectively," the Project Director informed.

Against this background, he said the PATH has taken a preliminary step towards “breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty”, with the campaign’s implementation. This, he informed, will entail several school interventions, intended to increase the compliance rate of the beneficiary programme, islandwide.

He noted that careful consideration has been given to the variables that would contribute to the moderate to high levels of non-compliance, and the extent to which promoting a strategic message could assist in reversing the trend and endorsing education.

Mr. Bryan is encouraging parents and guardians within PATH households, to visit the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s parish offices, and provide all the relevant information on each child, in order to receive the full benefits, to which each beneficiary is entitled.