Schoolchildren’s cash grant could increase beyond $50,000 – Manickchand
The government’s ‘Because we care’ cash grant could increase beyond the $50,000 sum that was targeted, Education Minister Priya Manickchand has said.
The grant, which was initially offered to all public schoolchildren and last year extended to those attending private school, was meant to provide families with some relief.
On Monday night, however, Manickchand hinted that the promised sum could increase.
“Before the end of our term, it will be – and I’m saying this with a big hint here – at least $50,000.
“It could very well be more,” the Education Minister stated during an online discussion.
This grant was introduced in 2014, allowing each child to get $10,000. It was discontinued under the previous government but restored last year with the return of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) to government.
The plan, based on the PPP/C’s manifesto, was to increase that grant incrementally until it met $50,000. Thereafter, $50,000 would be provided annually.
Last year, when the grant was reintroduced, each child was offered $15,000. It was distributed alongside a $4,000 school’s uniform voucher. That meant that each child receiving the grant got $19,000.
This year, Manickchand said each child is expected to receive $25,000 under the ‘Because we care’ initiative. The uniform grant has also been increased to $5,000, meaning that each child is expected to receive $30,000.
The Education Minister also dismissed concerns that the grants would be misused by parents, emphasising that parents usually spend on what their children need.
Importantly, too, she announced that from September, all Grade Six pupils will receive breakfast. This will be prepared by individuals in their communities and is meant to guarantee that children are well-fed to focus on their studies.