Minister for Education Premila Kumar says children have been telling teachers they are not bringing lunch to school because their parents were asleep when they left home as they were having some drinks or grog.
She says teachers have have reporting to the Ministry regarding children who come to school without food.
Kumar says while the Government is committed to educating children and relieving the financial burden on parents, unfortunately they see children who stay home and do not go to school.
Kumar says there has to be a certain level of parental responsibility.
She says parents cannot expect the Government or the teachers to go into each settlement or village to get the children out of their homes and take them to school.
The Minister says as a Government, they are there to help those children who genuinely cannot bring lunch to school where they provide free lunch but not when parents cannot take responsibility when they can afford to make lunch.
Kumar says she is urging faith based organisations and community elders to start talking along these lines because we need to deal with this issue.
She says in case parents do have problems, they can contact the Ministry of Education, the head of school or the class teacher.
The Minister says she is also encouraging the school management committee to do a check because they are closest to the community they represent.
Kumar further says she knows the cost of living is rising and one way of mitigating that is by ensuring parents are not stressed and for this reason, the Government will be providing $180 in the next 6 months in two instalments to each child that parents have.
Kumar says this money should be used for children’s food and whatever they need and it should not go towards grog and cigarettes.
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