by Linda Straker
- Ladies and their babies will remain at Heritage House for classes and care
- Technical Committee recommendation accepted before discussions undertaken with teenage mothers
- Government contributes annual subvention of $240,000
The cabinet of Grenada has altered its original decision regarding the students at the Programme for Adolescent Mothers (PAM), and as a result, the ladies and their babies will remain at Heritage House for classes and care.
Social Development Minister Delma Thomas said that the recommendation of the Technical Committee to have the young ladies re-integrated back into the traditional school system was accepted and endorsed, before in-depth discussions were undertaken with the teenage mothers.
“After we met with them we had to come up with a better working solution and so it was then agreed that the institution will remain open as a joint project of the Ministries of Education and Social Development until the court matter between the incoming executive and some members of the outgoing executive,” she said.
“The students will have classes in five subject areas including english and mathematics, and the daycare facilities on compound will continue to operate. Basically, life for the students should not change but the cost to keeping it functioning will be the duty of the Ministries of Education and Social Development,” Thomas explained.
PAM which commenced its operations as a project of the Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Child under the management of GRENSAVE, became a registered non-governmental organisation in 2011.
Government has been the primary benefactor of the programme for many years, having vested the building to the programme and contributed an annual subvention of $240,000. Government decided to suspend the subvention after legal action was taken following the March 2019 Annual General Meeting. Two members of the old executive are challenging the process of how the new board was elected.
Thomas said, “As a government, we cannot sit by and not take some kind of action that will work in the best interest of the students, the technical committee recommendation was not fully endorsed by some of the students and parents, so we had to come up with a solution.”
The school is operating in the same location. The minister said that besides the court matter, there is also an ongoing financial audit of the institution’s revenue and expenditure.