$1.8B in school supplies cash grant for distribution this year; entire process being audited


The distribution of the school supplies cash grant commenced on Monday and Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said that a sum of $1.8 billion will be handed out to schools across the country this year.

“This year $1.8B, for these terms alone, which is what we are giving out now is going to be given directly to schools to allow the school autonomy about how they purchase cleaning, janitorial and office supplies,” Manickchand said.

She made the disclosure during a distribution exercise on Monday at the Anna Regina Secondary School in Region Two.

Through the initiative which was rolled out last year, teachers from the coastland regions will receive $4,500 per student to make purchases for their classroom while teachers in the hinterland will receive $5,500 for each student in their classroom.

To ensure, transparency and accountability, Manickchand said the entire process is being audited.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand

“As we pack at the bank…the auditors are there. They accompany us….so that they can audit the way this is being done to make sure this is being done according to our fiscal rules.

“It’s not a grant to do whatever one wants with it. It’s a grant to provide whatever materials and supplies,” she explained.

And coming out of feedback, the Minister said that teachers are required to provide receipts of their purchases.

“If you are using it for the reason it is given, you shouldn’t have a problem with producing receipts.

“If teachers want to combine their efforts and buy together…that’s fine with us but schools will work that out internally,” she said.

The long term goal, Manickchand explained, is to have the monies transferred to the bank accounts of schools instead of it being physically distributed.

At present, she said only 44 schools have bank accounts.

Highlighting that this may be a challenge for some schools, especially in the hinterland areas, Manickchand said the hope is to ensure that most if not all schools have a bank account by September this year.

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