Persons who need it could expect to receive uniform vouchers before the school term closes. In addition, pre-primary school students have been included as eligible recipients this year.
The launch of the 2017 school uniform assistant program was announced at the last weekly post-cabinet briefing on Wednesday.
According to the Senior Administration Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister Mrs Naomi Jeremiah, her ministry together with the Ministry of Social Services and the Ministry of Education has put all machinery in place. She said they are up and ready to begin the process of the uniform assistance for the year 2017. The current Uniform Assistance Program began in 2013 under the Ministry of Education.
Ms Jeremiah reminded that the objective of the program is to assist in alleviating some of the financial challenges faced by the unemployed or low-income families in the communities. She said when children are returning to school in September, the ministries want to ensure that the families that cannot fully support their children to go back to school would be assisted with uniform items.
The program started in the month of May and would end in July. The hope is that before school closes in July for the end of this term and persons are already in position to receive the vouchers, the S.A.O. said; the actual vouchers would be distributed before school closes for the term.
Ms Jeremiah explained, this year the uniform program would be introduced to the pre-primary schools, unlike previous years when only secondary and primary schools benefited. Pre-primary school students would receive $50; primary school students would receive $100 and those in the secondary school, $150. A total of $450.00 worth of vouchers is possible for each household that falls under the ambit of the program. The administrators of the program are calling on the principals and teachers of the various schools to cooperate with the SEED officers to identify the needy and vulnerable students in the schools so that they could have a listing so that the vouchers would be given to the neediest and vulnerable students. Last year the program assisted a total of 5052 families with a total of 1.2 million dollars spent.