Tue | Sep 17, 2019

Gov't providing $569M in back-to-school grants for PATH beneficiaries

Published:Monday | August 19, 2019 | 9:18 AM
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson (right), presents mother of six, Suzanne Dawkins, with a cheque at the handover of cheques under the Ministry’s Back-to-School grant for the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) beneficiaries on Friday, August 16 at the Ministry in Kingston - Contributed photo.

A total of 162,654 children who are registered with the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) will benefit from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Back-to-School grant programme.

The Ministry will be disbursing $569.289 million to several PATH families, with each student set to receive $3,500 during the month of August.

The benefit is payable to all registered PATH students attending primary and secondary schools islandwide.

Introduced in September 2018, the initiative is part of efforts by the Government to improve social safety net programmes and to increase the level of support provided to poor families.

Speaking at a handing over ceremony on Friday Portfolio Minister, Shahine Robinson, said the decision was made to make the grant programme an annual initiative so as  to ease the burden of expenses associated with back-to-school preparations.

“With all the challenges with back-to-school (preparations) and just living, I think that PATH is doing a good thing. As a representative of the people, I know the challenges that parents face with these enormous book lists and every year they get more expensive, so any little help to take you over the hill, I know, will be appreciated,” Robinson said.

Describing PATH as an “investment” in the country’s youth, Robinson encouraged the parents and guardians present to ensure that children attend school every day.

“Time lost cannot be regained and it is important that this is impressed upon the children. The only way you can escape poverty is through education. Successive governments realise that we must invest in education. We must invest in our children,” she said.

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