Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has promised that his administration will meet the cost and assist parents to ensure that every child on the island attend school at the beginning of the new academic year.
Skerrit made the promise while addressing a special meeting with residents of Portsmouth and surrounding communities on Sunday.
“Let me say to you very clearly, that we would like to have every child in Glanvillia, Portsmouth and the entire country to attend school,” the prime minister said. “There should be no reason why any child in Glanvillia should not be in school. You cannot use the excuse that you do not have books, or a pair of shoes. We have to help you to get those things to ensure that every child goes to school whether it is pre-school, primary, secondary or the state college.”
Prime Minister Skerrit said further that the government’s “No Child Left Behind” policy programme will ensure that students who cannot make it to pre-school or whose parents may not have the funds on a monthly basis to pay school fees will be assisted by the Government of Dominica.
“You have situations where there are children of pre-school age whose parents for one reason or the other cannot go to work because they have to stay home with their children. I am here this afternoon to say that any child who is of pre-school age, we should put those children at pre-school and those of you who cannot afford, you need to let the Parliamentary Representative know or the Government know so that we can help to pay the fees to allow the children to go to pre-school. Similarly the same arrangement applies for students attending the primary school and the Portsmouth secondary school,” he stated.
Students across the island have benefited from a number of government initiative including transportation, school feeding programs and school transfer grants which cover text books and uniforms.
The new academic year opens later this week.