Sunday 15 September, 2019

PATH students receive back-to-school grants

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson (right) presents mother of five, Sara Lemonious, with a cheque. The occasion was the handover of cheques under the Ministry’s Back-to-School grant for PATH beneficiaries on Friday at the Ministry, in Kingston.  (PHOTO: JIS)

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson (right) presents mother of five, Sara Lemonious, with a cheque. The occasion was the handover of cheques under the Ministry’s Back-to-School grant for PATH beneficiaries on Friday at the Ministry, in Kingston. (PHOTO: JIS)

Thirteen students received back-to-school grant cheques from the Ministry of Labour and Security at a press conference Friday at the ministry's head office in Kingston.

The students are among 162,654 children on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education who will benefit from the financial assistance, with each student set to receive $3,500 during the month of August.

At the press conference, Labour Minister Shahine Robinson stressed that the ministry had a mandate to assist the needy, and was committed to enabling every child an opportunity to stay in school and benefit from the educational system instead of falling through the cracks.

“At the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, we like to say we take care of people from the womb to the tomb and we understand that if we want a better future for Jamaica, we must invest in our children and that is why it is so important that we are making an investment in the children of Jamaica to send them to school every day," Robinson said.

"Impress upon the children and especially children coming from poorer families that the only way to escape poverty is through education. Once you are educated you can’t be poor."

As part of its efforts to improve the social safety net programmes and to increase the level of support provided to poor families, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in September 2018 introduced the Back-to-School grant for PATH beneficiaries. This benefit is payable to all registered PATH students attending primary and secondary schools islandwide.

“With all the challenges of back to school, I think PATH is doing a great job. We listened and we have heard the cries for this kind of assistance and so, last year we decided to make this back to school Payment an annual initiative," Robinson said.

She continued: "As a representative of the people, I know the challenges that the parents face with these enormous book lists and every year they get more expensive, so any little help is considered a big step to ensuring that our PATH Beneficiaries are getting the optimum benefits within the programme in order to eradicate the cycle of generational poverty among the nation’s families.”

The total amount that will be disbursed in the back-to-school initiative is $569.3 million.

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