Categorized | National News

Uniform Assistance Programme Reports Steady Numbers

While she was not able to give exact figures, Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin said uniform assistance leading into the new school year was “relatively the same as last year.”

“So far we have been seeing quite the usual influx for this time of year and we have certainly been putting in place all measures and protocols to ensure that clients are served efficiently and in a timely matter,” she told the Bahama Journal recently.

“For example, with regard to all the outreach centres, we would have been putting in place assistance from the Urban Renewal Unit to ensure that we get out the purchase orders as quickly as possible. Our accounts department has been working around the clock during the course of July and August just to ensure that all the purchase orders are out in time so we have seen the normal influx for this time of year and we are certainly doing all that we can to ensure that everything runs smoothly.”

Mrs. Griffin also confirmed that the government once again partnered with several vendors for the purchasing of school uniforms.

These vendors include Sandy’s, John’s, Melissa Sears Uniforms among others.

“We no longer have the social workers having to go out and purchase the items,” the social services minister said.

“The client is directly given the purchase order and they take it to the various vendors and get the uniforms. This makes the system run more efficiently.”

In years past, the government has spent well over $60,000 to provide uniforms to nearly thousands of children throughout The Bahamas, according to Social Services officials.

According to records, the government has also spent more than $200,000 on the school lunch programme.

The total expenditure for the lunch programme in the last fiscal year in New Providence alone was more than $1 million.

The total spent on the programme nationally has also exceeded $2.5 million in recent times.

Meanwhile, Minister Griffin said she wishes students well and explained that school welfare officers have been strategically placed throughout school in the country to deal with issues faced by students.

“We know students will have their challenges and the department will ensure that the welfare officers are there,” she said.

“I am dealing with personnel to bring more welfare officers on board so that we can have them better placed as well. They will be able to deal with the problems our students are faced with but we want assistance from parents as well. Nothing can work without proper networking between the parents, teachers, administrators and those of us in government.”

Sasha Lightbourne

Written by Sasha Lightbourne

Journal Staff Writer

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