Transformed PATH expected to have improved reach Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

It is anticipated that the proposed transformation of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) will enhance the initiative’s reach and facilitate greater social mobility among beneficiaries.

The programme is spearheaded by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Portfolio Minister, Pearnel Charles Jr, said the revamped PATH will seek to improve on the existing structures, systems and delivery of services.

“We acknowledge that there are challenges with PATH. We acknowledge that there is the need for us to look at those challenges if we are going to achieve the transformation that we speak about,” he said.

He was addressing the ministry’s semi-virtual town hall meeting at St Gabriel’s Anglican Church Hall in May Pen, Clarendon last week under the theme, ‘On a PATH to Transformation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’.

Charles said PATH’s transformation is timely, noting that the programme must be updated to meet the current needs of its clients.

“In 20 years, if the programme has not changed to fit the (evolving) needs of the population, then you have a problem because where we were 20 years ago is not where we are today,” he emphasised.

A Tracer Study that was undertaken in 2021 found that former PATH beneficiaries enjoy better economic well-being than their households of origin.

Charles also said under PATH, the education levels of household members improved, as the majority of children were sent to school in compliance with the conditions for the continued receipt of cash transfers.

“If you are a student on PATH, you have a higher likelihood of being economically successful and independent. It (the study) also confirmed that… PATH… did give significant support and assistance in terms of improving the educational levels of the majority of children on PATH,” he indicated.

Charles said the revised programme is a critical aspect of the ministry’s transformation as it carries out its mandate of moving beneficiaries towards economic independence and social mobility.