-parents grateful for ‘well-timed’ initiative
FOLLOWING Wednesday’s commencement of the disbursement of the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant in Region Two, many parents have lauded the efforts being made by the Ministry of Education and the Government of Guyana to significantly improve the lives of their school-aged children.
Scores of parents received the $15, 000 cash grant along with the $4000 School Uniform and Supplies Grant, immediately after Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, officially launched the initiative at the Cotton Field Nursery School.
Instead of the customary voucher, parents will be receiving cash. A suitcase with the cash was handed over to Regional Education Officer, Nichola Matthews, after which teachers began distributing it to the waiting parents. Minister Manickhand overlooked the distribution exercise.
Some $225M which has been set aside for the region, is expected to be distributed over the next three days.
Several parents told the Guyana Chronicle that they are very thankful for the money as it would be a great help during the pandemic since children are learning from home, and many parents have either lost their jobs or are now earning less.
Maggie Bolo, a mother of three who lives at Bushlot Village said she will be spending the grant on her children’s educational needs.
The woman continuously expressed her appreciation to the government for the “positive” move. She explained to this publication that it is very expensive for her children to participate in online classes.
“Things really hard right now cause everything is online and sometimes the WiFi down so I does have to purchase data for my children to do their assignments,” Bolo said.
Another parent, Nathely Daniels of La Belle Alliance, reached the school around 07:30 hrs and was among the first to arrive. The mother of four said the cash grant came at an opportune time. She intends to use the money to purchase school items for her children.
Like Bolo, she spoke of the expense associated with online classes particularly when it comes to accessing the internet. She commended the Ministry of Education for representing the interest of children by ensuring that the initiative became a reality.
Mother of five and resident of Cotton Field, Glenda Perriett, related to this publication that she is currently “struggling” to care for her children. She said that she is overjoyed that she is a recipient of the cash grant which she plans to spend on internet connectivity to her home.
Meanwhile, Minister Manickchand in her comments during the launch said government, through her ministry, was delivering on a promise made to parents.
Noting that there was no limit on how parents can spend the money, the minister emphasised that parents can purchase whatever was needed to improve their children’s lives.
She said it was the ministry’s priority to ensure that children were taken care of during the pandemic and that she understood the struggles many were facing as they tried to ensure that the learning process continued.
“We believe that the grant will be useful for your children. We will not tell you what to buy with the money; I think as parents you all are quite responsible. We at the ministry hope that the grant will improve your child’s life,” the minister added.
She used the opportunity to urge parents to support their children emotionally and to give them whatever additional support was needed at this time.
Cash grants were also distributed at the secondary schools in Cotton Field and Suddie.
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, who was at the Suddie Secondary School overlooking the distribution process, told parents that the government had fulfilled one of its manifesto promises by investing billions of dollars in providing quality education for the nation’s children.