$15,000 grant for PATH students

Published: Wednesday | August 19, 2009

Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Andrew Gallimore, interacts with students participating in the Steps to Work Summer Camp at the Albert Town High School in Trelawny. Approximately 100 children from the southern section of the parish, who are from households benefitting from the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), are participating in the two-week camp funded by the World Bank. - contributed

The Government is adding another incentive to the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), Andrew Gallimore, Jamaica's minister of state in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, has announced.

"Starting this October, every single child who has graduated from high school, who lives in a PATH household, who applies and is accepted to an institution of higher learning, will receive a grant from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, from the PATH programme, for $15,000," Gallimore said.

He said the Government was hoping that the incentive would encourage more young people to pursue educational development.

Gallimore was giving the keynote address at the official opening of the Steps to Work Summer Camp at the Albert Town High School in Trelawny on Monday. The camp, a component of PATH's Steps to Work Programme is funded by the World Bank and ends August 28.

More than 100 students - from PATH households - who have just left grades nine and 11 in high, all-age and junior high schools in southern Trelawny are attending the summer camp. It is aimed at providing productive options for students during the summer holidays and also to assist in character building and the development of social, community and life skills.

Improving trends

Gallimore encouraged the participants to set clear goals and to make use of the opportunities. He stated that the Government was fully committed to assisting children in PATH participating households, adding that there are over 350,000 PATH beneficiaries.

"We have seen a significant increase in mothers taking their babies to the health centres. We have seen a 38 per cent increase, as a result of the conditional cash transfer system through the PATH programme," he said.

"We have seen a three percent differential between children who are on the PATH programme, and children who are not, meaning that children who are on the PATH programme are outperforming children who are not, where school attendance is concerned," he noted.

He said a differential payment plan being implemented will encourage young people to stay in the school system, with an additional incentive for boys who decide to continue on to grades 10 and 11.