Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the transport assistance has been reduced by $4.3 million in the 2021/2022 National Budget because they do not expect schools to re-open in the next few months.
He highlighted this after SODELPA MP Ro Teimumu Kepa had questioned on why there was a reduction in operating grants.
Ro Teimumu also raised the question as to how the Ministry aims to provide counseling for students when they go back to school because there used to be allocations for student counselors and school chaplains.
She says the teachers are not qualified to do this.
In her response, Akbar says as a former Minister for Education Ro Teimumu should know that teachers are the best counselors with or without training because they have the best experiences with the students.
However Akbar adds they have trained counselors who have recently graduated and they have been deployed in the divisions.
She adds this is why they are now offering scholarships in counseling.
The Minister adds they are also in constant contact with parents to ensure that our children are not neglected during these tough times and they are ready when schools re-open.
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