CPFSA spends more than $40m yearly to educate wards of the state
Chief Protection Specialist, UNICEF Jamaica, Dr Charlene Coore Desai, presents a plaque to Anthony Brown, who copped five subjects in the 2022 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination, during the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) educational achievement awards ceremony, at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew, on January 26. During the ceremony, 39 young persons in State care who attained four or more subjects in the 2022 sitting of the CSEC and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination.

Each year, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) spends more than $40 million for tuition payments, educational grants and school supplies for children in State care.

The money benefits wards of the State at the early childhood level all the way through to the tertiary level.

This was disclosed by Director, Children and Family Programmes, CPFSA, Warren Thompson, during the staging of the agency’s educational achievement awards ceremony at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew on Thursday.

“The CPFSA, with the support of our parent Ministry, has been working hard to ensure that children in State care have access to quality education,” he said, noting that this is in keeping with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates the right to an education, among other entitlements.

He informed that nearly $2 million was spent to offset the expenses for wards of the State sitting the 2022 May/June Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

Thompson said through targeted programmes and initiatives, the agency strives to hoist the children above their circumstances, providing them with the needed support to aid in their positive transformation.

“We are confident that the support provided to our children as they navigate the various stages of the life course will be of significant help in their formation as positive and productive citizens. This is an imperative for us at the CPFSA and, we believe, for all well-thinking Jamaicans who have an interest in making Jamaica the place of choice to live, work and raise families. We will continue to deeply invest in our children’s education for their lifetime benefit,” he said.

Thompson lauded the caregivers, officers, parents and other key players who continue to work with the children to achieve their best outcome.

“They continue to extend love and care beyond measure to our children. Parents, officers, we commend you, we appreciate you and we ask that you remain the positive influences that you have been, as our young people chart their destinies,” he said.

The director encouraged the recipients to continue to strive for excellence, while remaining focused and relentless in their mission to succeed.

“Set goals for your lives and work towards achieving them, remain steadfast in pressing forward. Motivation will get you started but habit and routine will definitely keep you going. Just remain focused and press onward. Be assured that we are here to guide and support you every step of the way,” he said.

Meanwhile, Thompson thanked organisations such as Children of Jamaica Outreach, the Optimist Club, Supreme Ventures Limited, Massy Distributors Limited, the Transformation Implementation Unit, among others, for their constant support in providing educational assistance that allows the children to boldly navigate their educational journeys and better prepare for their intended transition to independent living.

During the ceremony, 39 young persons, who attained four or more subjects in the 2022 sitting of the CSEC and CAPE examinations, were recognised for their performance. The agency has been staging the event since 2011.

A release from the agency stated that last year, a total of 146 youth from State care sat secondary external examinations. Of that number, 116 sat CSEC, 20 CAPE and 10 sat other examinations.

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