Granger announces cash grants for students

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The Government will soon launch what it calls a Public Education Assistance Scheme (PEAS) to assist parents in keeping their children in school.

“Some people call it the Cash Grants –but this will be a reward to parents who keep their children in school,”  President David Granger and Leader of the APNU+AFC coalition told supporters at the Tabatinga Sports Complex and Community ground in Lethem, Region Nine on Saturday night during the coalition elections rally.

The former People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government in 2014 gave a one-off ‘cash grant’ of $10,000 to students ahead of the 2015 elections. The initiative was titled ‘Because we care’ and had no conditions attached.

However, at his party’s rally in Region Nine, President Granger said parents will only receive funds from the PEAS if they can show that their child/children are punctual.

“If parents could show that their child/children have a high attendance record, they’ll be paid for every day that child goes to school upto the age of 15.

“So we not paying for 35-year-old children,” Granger said.

President David Granger greets a baby dressed in Coalition colors in Lethem on February 15, 2020 (Photos taken from APNU+AFC Facebook page)

The President’s announcement came one day after the APNU+AFC unveiled its manifesto which includes conditional cash transfers to citizens using oil revenues.

This will be done in the form of Nutritional Support, Housing Support, Public Transport and a Single-Parent Support Programme, vouchers for day-care and elder-care services and adult remedial classes and training, the PEAS and others.

The President on Saturday night said his government already has the public education scholarship programme from which 1,888 young people with 882 from the hinterland regions.

He said the hinterland, inclusive of the Rupununi, has seen major developments under the past five years. This he said must continue.

“This APNU+AFC administration is working hard, not just for elections but to see Guyana reach a [higher] standard by 2029…we are moving Guyana into a middle income category of development,” Granger told supporters at the rally.

The President spoke of plans to develop the region’s tourism industry and hydropower potential.

“Lethem will get hydropower…we have a plan to ensure gold mining will be done in a sustainable way…we are going to convert the promises we made into potential…”

The Crowd at Lethem (Photos taken from APNU+AFC Facebook page)

He said his government will make upgrade the airstrip in Lethem to accommodate regional aircraft.

But in order to get these projects going, the APNU Leader said it is important to not only win the government but to win the elections at the regional level and control the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).

The Region Nine RDC is controlled by the PPP/C.

“As long as the RDC is elected by the PPP, they will continue to fight down the government…from the 2nd of march, we will stop electing the PPP RDCs…It is no good have the APNU+AFC losing this great region to the PPP/C who do not care about you,” he told residents of Lethem and surrounding communities.

“A real leader performs, fake leader promises,” he added.

Meanwhile, also at the rally was the son of Cheddi Jagan –founder of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) –Dr. Joey Jagan and the daughter of Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham –founder of the People’s National Congress (PNC) –Ulele Burnham.

They both endorsed the coalition ahead of the last national elections.

Dr. Jagan delivered a speech on Saturday calling on persons to vote for the APNU+AFC.

Dr. Joey Jagan speaking at Lethem Rally where he made his first appearance on the campaign. (Photos taken from APNU+AFC Facebook page)

“I am not seeking a position, a title, a piece of land, I ain’t hanging my mouth where the soup leaks…Joey likes Mr Granger…please get out and go and vote for Mr Granger, he is going to do it for us and we will get the good life he talks about,” Dr Jagan said.

The crowd was also addressed by Minister of State Dawn Hastings-Williams and Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Sydney Allicock.

“We will continue the progress started in 2015…The only Government capable of protecting your money is the APNU+AFC,” Hastings-Williams said.

“Let the cup pass, don’t get fooled,” Allicock told the Indigenous people referring to the PPP/C party symbol.

The APNU+AFC which is made up of six parties is contesting against ten other parties at the upcoming polls. Among its competitors is a party led by the former Vice Chair of the National Toshaos Council Lenox Shuman.

On Saturday night, the President donated 39 bicycles and two buses to Indigenous Communities in Region Nine and commissioned a road to allow for easier access to the hub- Lethem.

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