Education Minister says over 800 teen mothers reintegrated in school system

Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry
Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry

Some 800 teenage mothers have been given the opportunity to reintegrate into the school system or further develop themselves through technical and vocational education.

This is according to Education Minister Nicolette Henry. Speaking at a recent press conference, Minister Henry said that prior to this initiative undertaken by her Administration, the reintegration of teenage mothers into the school system was a distanced dream for many.

Henry noted that her Administration is now providing these young adolescents with not only a second opportunity to complete their schooling but also allowing them to get back on the path of development. This, she noted, in many instances, is breaking the chain cycle of poverty.

“We believe that every Guyanese, irrespective of their circumstances, must have an opportunity to reach their full potential and this initiative is an opportunity to achieve that,” she stated.

According to the Education Minister, these more than 800 teen mothers are from all 10 administrative regions across the country. Of those, she explained that some 500 of them were placed into technical and vocational education.

Minister Henry further explained that a lot of them were placed at Carnegie School of Home Economics while others would have exercised the option of going back to secondary schools.

“In some instances, they went back to secondary schools where they would have started, in other instances they opted not to go to that same school,” the Minister said.

The reintegration programme is funded by Government and is being facilitated by the Health and Family Life Education Unit within the Education Ministry.

This was part of a policy initiative launched back in June 2018 to ensure that teenage mothers have the opportunity to go back to school. The policy was a collaboration between the Education Ministry and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with the input of other important stakeholders such as the Public Security Ministry, Public Health Ministry, Social Protection Ministry and faith-based organisations along with other agencies.

The policy, which took about one year to create, sets out clear guidelines to ensure that mothers are not denied the opportunity to re-enter the formal school system to continue their education. It further aims at not only managing the reintegration of the adolescent mothers but it is to also advance the prevention of adolescent pregnancy.