The Private Initiative is keen to have a breakfast survey done involving all Primary School children. This is preliminary to suggesting how such a programme be set up. If the survey should reveal that all children have a nutritious breakfast before they leave home, with which they are satisfied, there would be little point in such a programme. We feel that this is unlikely, and so, it seems does the Department of Education, as the PS has let us know that the schools and teaching staff will facilitate a survey which will be designed for us by a professional. This is positive and is how Private and Public should work together. Now here is another matter also involving Public and Private. The Special Education Unit has been left out of a lunch programme and for a number of years various persons have agitated about it and tried to suggest how the Unit could benefit from a programme. The children at this school require specialized remedial education. Some are, as we put it in our new PC days, educationally challenged. They are the vulnerable amongst our youngsters. Apparently at some earlier stage, the Department had indicated that there were too few of them for the Administration to cater for. Did this mean that they should go without lunches? I cannot say. It certainly showed that the Administration was not prepared to pay for the food for these children. This is not a blue or green case. No Administration so far has sought in any practical way to help these children. However the position has now changed. Kind and generous donors have made funds available to pay for lunches to be cooked at the Charlestown Primary School. The Principal and the Chef there have agreed to do it. The Private Initiative is sourcing insulated carriers and dishes etc. All that is needed is the conveyance of these lunches from Charlestown to Brown Hill. We wrote to the PS Education to tell her that funds for the lunches were available and could she please make arrangements for transportation. The answer we received was that the Ministry of Education was not in a position to assist immediately with transportation and that ‘We therefore ask that you make alternative arrangements for the lunches to be transported until we are better able to assist in that regard’. Whichever way I looked at it, this was an uncertain response. Would transportation actually be made available shortly or was this a way of saying that Government was not going to do it? I could not tell. The lunches have to be transported fully, reliably and on time every day of every term. This cannot be done on a volunteer basis with individuals agreeing to play a part once a week or once a month or whatever. That would be a system headed for chaos and breakdown. What is needed is one vehicle with one driver responsible for daily delivery. That can only be done by the Department. It was our intention that these lunches should start at the beginning of the coming summer term, some two weeks away. We all need this to happen. What are we to tell our donors? Thanks for the funds, but we can’t get our Government to transport the lunches to the children. If that was so, I am sure they would like their money back, and we would feel obliged to return it. They would not be inclined in future to make generous gestures. The Administration often talks about partnering with private persons or institutions, but partnership is not receiving and doing nothing yourself. These donors have produced a substantial sum purely out of the goodness of their hearts. The Administration is not asked to do very much. Failure to help the children of the Special Education Unit would be deplorable. I am told that the PS is trying hard, has identified a particular bus, and has put it to Treasury. Why this is necessary if the driver is already employed, I do not know. What we need is joined up Government. Fortunately the Premier is Minister of Education and Finance and can, if he so wishes, put this matter to rest without further ado. On April 29 th there will be a renaming ceremony at the Special Education Unit. It is my hope that at that ceremony the Premier will be able to announce, not only a proud new name, but the real assistance to be provided so that the children can have a cooked and hot nutritious lunch every day of the term. It is the mark of a civilized society that it cares for the underprivileged. I am sure that the Premier is as keen as all of us should be that we are, and are termed, a civilized society.