Over 3000 additional children to benefit as deadline extended for Because We Care cash grant

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Minister of Education Priya Manickchand has announced that the eligibility deadline qualifying new entrants into the public education system for the Government of Guyana’s Because We Care cash grant has been extended to July 31, 2021.

At the beginning of the distribution of the cash grant, parents or guardians of students who are now entering the public school system had to have applied for entry on or before June 30, 2021. However, Minister Manickchand said that the date has been extended and this will result in an additional 3,300 students being able to benefit from the grant.

Over the last two days, Minister Manickchand has been spearheading the distribution of the grant in Region Four on the East Coast of Demerara. The scheduled distribution in the region will end on Monday, August 9, 2021, with over $600M being transferred from the state to families in the region.

While at the Swami Purnananda Primary, the Enmore Hope Primary and the Paradise Primary schools, she told parents that though the grant cannot cater to all the needs of their children, it is still solid assistance to parents as they invest in the education of their children. Minister Manickchand also explained that the grant is not only for educational items but that it can be used to purchase items that serve children and support them as they continue along their academic journey.

The Education Minister said that she believes any expenditure in families is a good expenditure. She reminded parents that the grant will increase to $50,000 per child within the Government’s first term in office. She said that the Government had promised to restore the cash grant and fulfilled that promise, hence Guyanese should not question whether the grant will indeed be increased.

As it relates to the reopening of schools, Minister Manickchand said that the Ministry is certain that the best way to deliver education at this time is to have children return to the classroom for face to face teaching and learning. She said that this is highly dependent on the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

She explained to the teachers and parents that if they are among those persons who have not taken the COVID-19 vaccine then they are in the way of schools reopening for face to face learning. She said that the percentage of vaccinated persons in Guyana needs to increase before children are allowed back into the classroom. As the distribution of the cash grant continues across Guyana, vaccination stations will be established as far as is possible to give parents and teachers the opportunity to be vaccinated. It must be noted that this is not a requirement or prerequisite of parents to uplift the grant.

According to the Education Minister based on what the Ministry has been observing as it relates to the performance of students at the various levels, it is necessary to reopen schools.

Minister Manickchand encouraged teachers to go and get vaccinated while it is free and available, “because we need to make sure that we can get back into the classroom because the other types of education, I am warning, I am cautioning, I am inviting you to look at it, are not working. And it is not the teachers that will suffer, it is these children you want to see shine,” she said.

Minister Manickchand said that the more persons that take the vaccine the likelihood of spreading and contracting the virus are significantly reduced. She said that Guyana has to be able to defy what it is facing at this time.

She promised that once schools reopen, parents, teachers and students will see a difference in the way education is delivered.

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