School lunches not on help list

Students of Nakodu Mudu Primary School having lunch on the verandah of the church at Mudu village in Koro. Picture: SIKELI QOUNADOVU

The Education Ministry will not be providing lunches to students affected by COVID-19, says Minister for Education Rosy Akbar.

She said the ministry would continue with the existing bus fare assistance and the ministry was watching out for students whose parents had been affected by COVID-19.

Ms Akbar said the ministry was gathering data on the number of families affected and how best they could be assisted.

She said the ministry would work with faith-based organisations in looking at how affected students could be assisted.

“At the moment we are not looking at lunches, we are just focusing on our existing bus fare assistance,” she said.

“That data we are going to get for those students in terms of those families who had been affected like reduced hours of working or have lost employment, that is something that we will put across to the faith-based organisations as we met last week, and so they are also awaiting data from us.

“Lunches are not at the moment part of our assistance program for the schools but we’ve had a lot of interests from individuals and communities and some of them have actually started assisting students but that will all depend on the data.”

Ms Akbar said parents whose employment had been affected by COVID-19 could seek transport assistance if their combined income was less than $16,500.

“Whether it’s reduced hours of work or loss of employment, they must provide evidence to the schools.”

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