Another batch of adolescent mothers is being given the opportunity to return to school in a momentous move by the Education Ministry. It follows the reintegration of several mothers in 2018 and earlier in 2019 at the Carnegie School of Home Economics (CSHE) and mainstream schools.
This batch of 75 young women brings the reintegration tally up to 225 adolescent mothers who are more equipped with skills and education as a result of the policy championed by Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Nicolette Henry
At CSHE, the students are equipped with skills in Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Eighteen students chose to be reintegrated into mainstream schools which enlists the formal secondary school curriculum.
The adolescent mothers will be taking courses in Fabric Decoration, Elementary Cookery and Cake Decoration. The reintegration is facilitated primarily by the Health and Family Life Education Unit within the Ministry of Education.
Delivering remarks on behalf of the Education Minister, Colleen King-Cameron, who serves as the Coordinator of the Health and Family Life Education Unit remarked that the programme will create a better future for the adolescent mothers and their children.
“You have been given the opportunity to reintegrate into the school system, to further develop yourself, through technical and vocational education. The ministry continues to unfold its plans for you young mothers who have been unable to complete your education,” King-Cameron noted.
It is anticipated that the venture will help to reduce the number of pregnancies among school-aged girls.
Sherwin Blackman, District Education Officer, (Secondary) noted that the programme is cognisant of the fact that everyone is entitled to a quality education regardless of any their circumstances. The Principal of CSHE, Mryna Lee explained that the school has customised its programmes to meet the needs of the mothers and as such has trained staff to ensure the best outcomes and to ensure the literacy and competency of all learners in the programme.
The programme is seen as paramount to the development of women and girls in Guyana and seeks to provide the opportunity for young women to reach their full potential.
Earlier in September, Skeldon, Region 6 benefitted from its first reintegration programme where 40 adolescent mothers were given the opportunity return to school for the first time.
In 2017, the ministry under the leadership of Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Nicolette 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.