Government is implementing several measures to combat poverty and empower the vulnerable group with a view to ensure their social integration and improving their quality of life through the provision of an effective and efficient service delivery, imbued in equity, fairness and impartiality and education is one of the means of getting out of absolute poverty.

The Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr Alain Wong, made this statement at the Lunch Room of the National Assembly during a handing over ceremony of Cash Award to 173 beneficiaries under the School Premium Scheme on 18 May 2018. The ceremony was organised by the Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, in collaboration with the National Empowerment Foundation.

Minister Wong highlighted that Government is leaving no stone unturned to provide education to children of low-income families. He pointed out that for the year 2016 some 250 students from Mauritius and Rodrigues have benefitted under School Premium Scheme to the tune of Rs 7 million. Currently, Government has disbursed some Rs 30 million for the provision of school materials for students of Mauritius and Rodrigues, he added.

He further stated that the School Premium Scheme was announced in Budget 2016-2017 to empower families registered on the Social Register of Mauritius (SRM). The Scheme, he underpinned will help reduce the dropout of students from poor families, thus allowing them to pursue higher levels of education.

Minister Wong pointed out that in a bid to combat poverty, Government is also providing a monthly subsistence allowance as from Rs 2720 to Rs 9520 per family and an additional Rs 893 per childto families registered on the SRM. These different measures undertaken by Government, he emphasised is to ensure the economic empowerment of the vulnerable group and the creation of an inclusive and more equitable society.

Speaking on housing units, Minister Wong highlighted that Government is considering the Prefab housing unit project which aims to providing low-income families with an eco-friendly and cost effective housing units as well as to improve their socio-economic and living conditions. The project is in line with Government's policy to eradicate poverty by providing a decent housing to disadvantaged families, he added.

School Premium Scheme

The School Premium Scheme targets students who have successfully completed their School Certificates and Higher School Certificates examinations. The cash awards under the School Premium Scheme are Rs 25 000 for School Certificate level and Rs 35 000 for the Higher School Certificate level. The Cash Award will be transferred into a savings account created at the MauBank and can be withdrawn only when the beneficiary reaches 18 years old.

Source: Government of Mauritius