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In this 2018 photo Cooks prepare box lunches for the School Feeding Programme at the National School Dietary Services Limited at the School Feeding Catering Centre in Chaguanas.

The Ministry of Education’s School Feeding Programme has been temporarily suspended and transferred to the Ministry of Social Development.

This was confirmed by Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly on CNC3’s the Morning Brew yesterday.

“The School Feeding Programme has been passed to the Ministry of Social Development and we should have a way forward, certainly by next week to deal with that,” Gadsby-Dolly said.

The Government announced several weeks ago that the offices of the 41 Members of Parliament would be used to distribute 500 meals daily to needy students in their constituencies.

Gadsby-Dolly said the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus brought an end to that.

“Due to the trajectory of the pandemic, we are changing that direction and the Ministry of Social Development will provide greater details on that, certainly by next week. All of the details will be given next week, I don’t want to say because it has not been finalised,” she said.

Guardian Media tried reaching Social Development Minister Donna Cox for further details on the changes to the programme but calls to her cellphone went unanswered.

Gadsby-Dolly also said next week she will take a proposal to Cabinet to ask for funding to begin repairs on school buildings.

She said these repairs can be done while students engage in online learning as to not disrupt classes.

She said the cost of outfitting schools with sinks and sanitation stations in preparation for the reopening of physical classrooms may run between $20 to $30 million.

The Minister added that so far, 25 corporate donors have pledged thousands of devices to students who are in need.

Gadsby-Dolly also called for patience from parents as the students navigate the new E-classroom setting.