Though the Ministry of Education organised a massive countrywide exercise last week to distribute the $30,000 schoolchildren’s cash grant, just over 10,000 of those grants have not been collected.
As such, Education Minister Priya Manickchand said that those unclaimed grants will be distributed later this month- on a single day that will be communicated to parents and guardians shortly.
“If we were to say come tomorrow, it is too close to the date when we did it.
“We have to give them time to come back in and so,” Minister Manickchand said at the sidelines of an event on Wednesday.
She explained that many of the cash grants were not collected for a number of reasons, ranging from parents/guardians being abroad or some hospitalised. In other instances, there were queries about the children registered at particular schools.
Not wanting to disadvantage any child, the minister promised that the cash grants will be made available to all the children who are registered and catered for.
This year each child was scheduled to receive $25,000 under the ‘Because We Care’ initiative. The schoolchildren’s uniform grant was also increased to $5,000, meaning that each child would get a total of $30,000.
And some 200,000 children, both in public and private schools, were targeted over the four-day distribution period.
With most of those grants distributed, Manickchand said that the process was well-managed. She also assured Guyanese that there was a transparent distribution process, given the presence of police officers and auditors at every distribution centre across the country.
She disclosed, however, that there were few instances where people tried to get funds that they were not entitled to. Two envelopes- amounting to $60,000- are also unaccounted for.
Overall though, Manickchand said that she is pleased with the distribution exercise so far.
This ‘Because We Care’ initiative was first instituted by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in 2014. After returning to office in 2020, the PPP/C administration reinstated the grant and promised to incrementally increase it until it gets to $50,000.
Minister Manickchand hinted previously that this sum could possibly increase beyond $50,000.