Officials report…
Region Six anti-truancy campaign a great success
Guyana Chronicle
December 18, 2003

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THE Department of Education in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) has hailed the recent truancy operation ‘Care’ as a “great success”.

Schools Welfare Officer Alpha Mohamed said 192 school age children were apprehended during the exercise aimed at ensuring they attend classes.

He said the campaign snared those who were not at school for various reasons and identified Albion/Belvedere and Upper Corentyne as well as Angoy’s Avenue in New Amsterdam as places with high truancy rates.

Mr Mohamed said special attention will be paid to squatter settlements and Black Bush Polder early next year.

He disclosed that the majority of the truants, between six and 14 years old, were intercepted by a team, comprising personnel from the Schools Welfare Department, the Police Force, teachers and nurses, who found them at municipal markets, eating houses and squatting areas, among other places.

A similar previous drive in Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice) netted about 100 children between Shieldstown, West Bank Berbice and Weldaad, West Coast Berbice, where their parents offered different excuses.

Mohamed said the adults were reminded of their responsibility and advised on the procedure to get assistance from Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security.

He pointed out that a system is being put in place to enable those without to obtain birth certificates for the first time.

Education officials said all the children found absenting themselves from school will be closely monitored and visits would be paid to ensure their continued attendance.

It is also planned to prosecute parents of the delinquent next year and other people in the community should cooperate with the programme to eradicate illiteracy, the officials said.