A government programme assisting needy students will continue but will now be subjected to more stringent regulations.
Education Minister Peter St Jean has been emphasizing that efforts will be made to ensure that the support being given goes to deserving cases only.
“This year our support for students will continue – we will continue the transfer grant for students who have difficulties. We will continue the provision of textbooks for disadvantaged families, and we will continue the support for provision of uniforms for the students who are faced with those challenges,” Minister St Jean confirmed at a news conference called to announce the results of this year’s Grade 6 National Assessment exams, the gateway to secondary education under the Universal Secondary Education initiative being employed by the government.
St Jean warned however, that the facility would be properly managed to avoid assistance being obtained by families able to provide adequately for their children.
“There will be much more control this year in determining the individuals who benefit from these safety nets, to ensure that the assistance reaches those people who are really deserving of it,” the minister said.
He explained further that it was “not a free for all, but that this support will be geared, directed at the group of individuals who really experience difficulties, cannot provide and thus the government of Dominica will step in and provide for them”.
While he didn’t say so categorically, the gist of his presentation suggests that the programme has been abused in the past by those who can afford.