This morning as the students of President’s College
on the East Coast of Demerara assembled to have their breakfast in the
school’s dining hall, Minister of Education Dr The Hon. Nicolette Henry
joined the children to indulge in a meal of homemade bread, sausage, tea
and fruits.

During her two hour stay at the institution, Dr Henry used the opportunity
to interface with the students to get an understanding of what are some
issues affecting them and how they can be addressed. The Education Minister
also addressed the school’s population and said that she felt privileged to
be having breakfast with them.

Additionally, to loud applause, Dr Henry announced that the budgetary
allocation for dietary needs of the school has been increased significantly
in the 2019 budget. “It is important to this government that our children
are given healthy meals, and that is why we will continue to improve in
this area”.

Further, the Education Minister said that it is known that if children have
healthy meals, there is every likelihood that they will be better
positioned to learn. It is for this reason, according to Dr Henry, that the
Ministry of Education will continue to invest in the school feeding
Added to the opportunity for increased learning, Minister Henry said that
this programme also improves attendance, which translates into more
children being exposed to formal education.

During her defence of the MoE’s budgetary allocation for 2019 at the
Committee of Supply, Minister Henry said that the school feeding and hot
meal programmes will be significantly improved. She also said that the
school feeding programme will also have a greater focus to cater to the
country’s most disadvantaged children.

It was during that presentation that Dr Henry informed that special
emphasis will be given to the children of sugar workers since she believes
they are a part of this group that should benefit from this intervention.

The Ministry of Education’s school feeding and hot meal programmes are
currently ongoing in the eleven educational districts across the country.
Thousands of children are benefitting daily from this programme and the MoE
continues to look at avenues to improve this aspect of education delivery.


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