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Some girls who leave school during COVID are now young mothers

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact students’ ability to access education, some persons have dropped out and young girls have moved on to be mothers instead.

The Education Ministry to tackle the issue and ensure they are still given a fair chance, have begun engaging 55 of the young mothers in either Secondary School learning or skills training.

Subject Minister Priya Manickchand told  FOCUS, a BIG Smith News Watch production that “we’re trying to make sure they are back in school or in some training programme so that they are able to earn for themselves later on.”

She pointed out that given research globally, there will be a number of school dropouts but the Ministry does not have a way of measuring the exact number until school reopens.

“Trying to find the students who are supposed to be in the class room and if we can’t find them or when we find them, they say very clearly to us that we have no interest in pursuing an academic life, then how can we make sure they have skills,” Manickchand explained.

Schools were closed in Guyana since March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19. In November of that year, the Ministry reopened schools for students sitting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and this system has remained in place.

Other students have been receiving worksheets, text books, lessons on the Guyana Learning Channel, Radio, online and other means.

Upto Sunday, the Ministry of Health confirmed 11,149 COVID-19 cases with 9,721 recoveries and 255 deaths.