Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson (right), applauds a beaming grandfather of four, Raphael Case, after presenting him with a cheque. Occasion was the hand- over of cheques under the Ministry’s Back-to-School grant for the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) beneficiaries on Friday, August 16, at the Ministry
in Kingston. The Ministry will be disbursing $569 million to 162,654 children registered under PATH.
More than 162,000 children on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) programme are to benefit from a grant that is to help with their back to school preparations. This is separate from the money provided to them under this Government safety net programme that assists the most vulnerable.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Security that administers the PATH programme will be disbursing $569 million to several PATH families, with each student set to receive $3,500 during the month of August. A total of 162,654 children are to benefit.
The benefit is payable to all registered PATH students attending primary and secondary schools islandwide.
“The initiative, introduced in September 2018, is part of efforts by the Government to improve social safety net programmes and to increase the level of support provided to poor families,” JIS said.
At the handover of cheques to some beneficiaries on Friday, August 16, at the Ministry, in Kingston, Portfolio Minister, Shahine Robinson, said the decision was made to make the grant programme an annual one, to ease the burden of expenses associated with back-to-school preparations.
“With all the challenges with back-to-school (preparations) and just living, I think that PATH is doing a good thing. As a representative of the people, I know the challenges that parents face with these enormous book lists and every year they get more expensive, so any little help to take you over the hill, I know, will be appreciated,” the Minister said.
Describing PATH as an “investment” in the country’s youth, Mrs. Robinson encouraged the parents and guardians present to ensure that children attend school every day.
Eighty-four year-old Raphael Case, who collected cheques for his grandchildren, said he is grateful for this assistance, as the grant will help in purchasing books, uniforms and stationery for the children who are enrolled in primary and secondary institutions.
Mother of six, Suzanne Dawkins, said she is grateful for the assistance which will go a far way in offsetting back-to-school expenses.
“I feel nice this morning when I opened the cheque. I felt good. Just this morning I walked down to the bookstore and I saw that the price for one of the books is $4,000. I didn’t know where the money would come from,” she said.