…as the programme launches in Region 10
The Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand today defended the Government’s decision to issue cash and not vouchers to parents for the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant programme.
The programme was launched in Region 10 today at the Christianburg/Wismar Secondary School in Linden.
The grant which is valued at $19,000 comprises of the value of the Because We Care grant, $15,000 and the value of the School Uniform and Supplies grant, $4000.
Last year, a voucher was given for the School Uniform and Supplies programme, but the Government of Guyana decided this year not to use vouchers but to give parents the actual cash.
According to Minister Manickchand, she has no doubt in her mind that the parents of Guyana will use the money for the benefit of their children.
Minister Manickchand said that parents of Guyana make sacrifices for their children to ensure they have a better life. She said, “that’s what you live for. Even though you may be doing well, we know you could do with a hand. I have no doubt in mind that when we give this grant and when we give it in cash that it would be used mostly for your children.”
She said that thousands of parents in Region 10 are scheduled to receive the grant with a collective value of over $200M. Minister Manickchand made the point that each parent knows best what their children need better than anyone else and should be given the liberty to decide how to make their children’s lives better and not be constrained by the limits a voucher establishes.
The Education Minister reiterated that the grant is not limited to traditional educational items but can be used to purchase anything that is in service to children.
“We are saying you can use this in any way that is in service to your children and once that happens you will have happier children in the classroom who are more receptive to the education that we are trying to deliver in the schools,” she remarked.
Minister Manickchand added, “Anything that you do with this money that is good for your children or that is in service to your children is a wise expenditure of the money.”
The Education Minister reminded parents today in Linden that the grant will increase incrementally during her Government’s first term in office until it reaches $50,000 per child.
Moreover, she urged parents to provide the much-needed support to the children at home so that they can focus more on their school work which will result in better outcomes. On the issue of the pandemic, Minister Manickchand explained to parents that the COVID-19 vaccination rate is closely related to the possibility of schools reopening to physical teaching/learning.
She said that despite the many interventions by the Ministry of Education and its teachers to keep children engaged, students’ performance has dropped. She said that studies show that the longer school doors remain closed, children will suffer from learning loss and more students will drop out. As such, Minister Manickchand made the plea to parents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.