A commitment by the ministry of education to locate and re-integrate the 500 Grade Six students who dropped-out of school following its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been fruitful.
Chief Education Officer (CEO), Dr. Marcel Hutson said Monday that the ministry located over 100 of students and has already placed them into secondary schools.
“Once the children have been found, they are to be placed in a secondary school accordingly, so that they will never be left hanging. That is our rule in the ministry of education…
Over 100 of them were located and placed into other schools, but we will constantly be searching for these children and we will find them,”he assured.
Dr. Hutson said welfare officers were sent to different communities across the country to locate the children. Officers found that most of them had migrated or moved due to the pandemic.
“We had welfare officers, they’ve gone out into the communities where these children are and we’ve discovered that some of them would have migrated during the COVID period, some of them actually went into other communities,”the chief education officer said.
Dr. Hutson said many of the children, especially in the hinterland regions, went into small scale farming. Others went into support systems as their parents lost their job because of Covid- 19.
He further stated that the ministry of education is willing to provide assistance to these students whether it is financial or otherwise so they can return to the classroom and complete their education.
“If it’s a financial issue that they have, we are willing, at the level of the minister’s office. The decision was taken that once we find these people and if they have these kinds of difficulties, whatever help that could be given to them financially to alleviate the problems that they’re experiencing that would be given to them, so that they could be in the school,” he related. He noted the need for more welfare officers in all regions to better serve the country. He said they will continue to search for the remaining students as they should be in school.