− fully funded courses through Carnegie School of Home Economics
−MOE to provide free day care for their children
In a momentous move by the Ministry of Education, 80 more mothers will be returning to school in the coming week.
The adolescent mothers are now enlisted to complete courses in either cosmetology or cake and pastry making at the Carnegie School of Home Economics (CSHE).
This is the second move of this nature by the Education Ministry. It follows the reintegration of several mothers last year, at the same institution.
The move is in keeping with the policy of reintegration of adolescent mothers into the education system, as this is seen as paramount to the development of women and girls in Guyana.
Delivering remarks at the beginning of the programme today, Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry reiterated her personal and professional commitment to seeing women and girls attain greater socio-economic mobility and empowerment.
To this effect, the Education Ministry along with other governmental and non-governmental agencies has thrown support into interventionist programmes, to reduce the levels of teenage pregnancy, to empower and develop adolescent mothers and to decrease poverty and gender-based violence rates among girls.
Minister Henry stressed that by sending girls back to school, they will be better equipped with life and other skills. She believes that investing in girls’ education is investing in the development of a nation.
“Your being here is a demonstration of the commitment to education and development of our people by this government,” Minister Henry implored.
The reintegration is facilitated primarily by the Health and Family Life Education Unit within the Ministry of Education.
The courses will be fully funded by the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Education. The ministry is also supporting transportation to and from school for the students, along with the provision of free day care services for their children.
Upon completion of the course, the mothers will also receive a ‘start-up’ toolkit along with follow up sessions to ensure that progress is being made in their lives.
“These opportunities were not available a few years ago. I’m happy to see that we have started on a journey…as a government and as the ministry of education, when we say a good life for all [it means] no person should be left behind,” the minister added.
Since the development of the policy last June, 45 teenage mothers were reintegrated into the school system. Fifteen mothers were reintegrated into the formal school system (Secondary School) and thirty mothers chose alternative education.
Similar programmes have been rolled out in Regions 1, 6, 7 and 9.
The APNU+AFC Government remains steadfast in its commitment to the socio-economic development of women and girls through transformative approaches.
In 2017, the ministry under the leadership of Dr. Henry lobbied for an unprecedented legislative policy to be drafted and passed to allow formal, technical and vocational education for adolescent mothers.
The reintegration policy is the result of a collaboration between the ministry and UNICEF with the input of other important stakeholders such as the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Social Protection and faith-based organisations, among other agencies.