By Machela Osagboro
More than a decade after the National School Meals Programme was implemented in Antigua, students in Barbuda are yet to have access to the service. Nevertheless, youngsters on the sister isle can expect to receive school meals soon as education officials are now assessing a suitable location.
The programme’s manager Ezra Knowles said the team was looking at the requirements of launching the scheme but could not give a specific date for its start.
Knowles said officers were on site yesterday and were working vigorously to get operations underway.
Director of Education, Clare Browne, told OBSERVER that systems and facilities were being put in place to ensure the initiative’s successful launch in Barbuda very soon.
Browne said a space had been chosen to accommodate a deep freeze during education officials’ last visit to the island for the opening of the Holy Trinity School.
“We are looking at a contractor to retrofit a room to house a refrigerator,” he said. This is a small step towards getting equipment onto the island.
He said the ministry was, “ensuring that all the necessary things, the rooms, the appliances are taken over to Barbuda”. This is an attempt to ensure a top-class facility and a healthy space from which to run the programme, Clare explained.
“All those things have to be put in place before we can launch, because we don’t want a situation where people are getting sick,” he said.
The director added that this careful organisation takes time and proper facilities have to be put in place, adding that he was committed to ensuring Barbudan children would soon benefit from school meals.