With the budget fast approaching I make a renewed call to the Government to think of our children and the sacrifices of their hardworking parents. It is time for the government to reintroduce an annual school grant, the laptop programme for all form-one students and the free student transport to schools in all areas throughout the country.
Recently we saw that thousands of our children were lost from the school system during Covid due to not having computers to access online learning. The Government sat idly by, relying on donations from the private sector to meet this need after cancelling the UNC’s laptop programme, which had previously ensured that every child had access to a computer at home and school.
Hardworking parents continue to struggle to pay for uniforms, textbooks, photocopies, and stationary supplies and as such, I call on the government to reintroduce the annual school grant.
Many students are struggling to attend school because of the increased cost of transportation triggered by the removal of the fuel subsidy. The free transport programme is therefore essential to ensure the attendance, safety, and security of our nation’s children.
The Government must act to ensure that no child is left behind. They are our nation’s future.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
28th September 2023