July 16, 2010
Every child to get a chance with CAP

The Children Against Poverty programme, which specifically targets children from the low end of the socio-economic scale whose academic performances have fallen below a desired standard commenced on Monday at the Sion Hill Government School, which is one of the twenty-four centres where the programme will be hosted this year.{{more}}

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Senior Education Officer Jacqueline Glasgow Browne stated that the Ministry of Education ensures that it put extra activities together to assist the country’s disadvantaged children. She noted that with the advent of universal access to secondary education, the Ministry ensures that trained and certified teachers are placed at all first forms in the secondary schools, given that some of the students did not pass the Common Entrance Exam and that they have varying abilities. She further stated that the Ministry of Education believes that no child should be left behind.

Browne noted that along with the CAP programme, there is also a bridging programme which she said is another strategy put in place to assist the students who sat the Common Entrance Exam this year. She said the students will be taught literacy and numeracy with a fun approach.

Minister of National Mobilisation and Parliamentary Representative for West George Mike Browne, who also addressed Monday’s ceremony, thanked the Cabinet for the support of the CAP programme. He also expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Education for collaborating with the Ministry of National Mobilisation for the programme. He noted that over the past fifteen years, the poverty rate in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was as high as forty per cent, he however noted that two years ago, there has been a significant decrease in poverty in this country. Browne said his ministry has to lead the way in eradicating poverty in SVG. He said he is motivated to wipe out poverty and as a government they must ensure that food poverty is wiped out in this country. He said as a people, we must continue the struggle to wipe out poverty, noting that poverty should not exist in a Christian society and he urged persons to be their brother’s keeper.

Browne said he stands on the side of the disadvantaged. He noted that education is his passion and outlined some of the steps that were taken to accommodate the universal access to secondary education which he claims is a anti- poverty programme which gives “every child, every chance”.

Senator Cecil Mc kie told the students that they have an excellent programme that most of the world’s children do not have. He noted that schools in the region have recognised the importance of such a programme and have since adopted the programme. He told the students that through the CAP programme they will learn methods that are not taught everyday at school and they must pay attention to the facilitators who are going to assist them with their own development. He urged the students to take what they learn and spread it to the wider community. Mc kie encouraged the students to have fun while learning.

The main theme of the CAP programme is “learning with fun growing with care” while the theme for the Sion Hill Government School is “preserving our environment.”

Students of the Belair Government, Dorsetshire Hill Government, Gomea Methodist and the Sion Hill Government Schools will participate in the CAP and Bridging programme at this centre. Seventy-four students will participate in the CAP programme while twenty-four will participate in the Bridging programme. Some seven facilitators are working along with the CAP programme at the Sion Hill Government School. The programme will run from July 12 to July 30 2010.