The Region 2, Pomeroon-Supenaam’s Regional Administration has launched a campaign to get children back in school starting with a walkabout in the Dartmouth area.
The mission of the visits is to engage parents and guardians in ensuring that school-aged children attend school. The first visit was conducted within the Dartmouth to Westbury area on Thursday last. This resulted in 43 students thus far returning to the classroom. Schools’ Welfare Officers (SWOs) traversed the communities engaging parents and guardians.
According to SSWO Haimraj Hamandeo, the 8th of May Secondary School in the Dartmouth to Westbury zone registered poor attendance records by some students, hence the decision to start in the area.
“From the Primary School’s registers, we are aware of the number of students that were supposed to be attending the 8th of May Secondary School, but for reasons unknown to us the attendance rate has been significantly low. The walkabout has generally indicated to us that negligence on the part of parents and guardians is the main factor. Notwithstanding that, some did indicate financial constraints among other factors.”
Hamandeo further indicated that the Department of Education would be monitoring the situation closely. Regional Executive Officer (REO), Denis Jaikaran noted that there is a special provision in the 2019 Budget to address the matter of truancy and he expects that the fan-out exercises will bear fruit.
“I am told that the exercise so far has seen some 40 plus students returning to the classroom which is good to note. There is a special allocation in Budget 2019 for Region 2 to cater for truancy, and at the end of our exercise we hope to attain universal secondary education.”
Within the first quarter of this year, 12 areas of interest are expected to be targeted within the Pomeroon-Supenaam’s Region.
Story and Images: Ganesh Mahipaul
Truancy 1 – Senior Schools’ Welfare Officer (SSWO), Haimraj Hamandeo engaging a father from Dartmouth