Parents and guardians turned out in their numbers, as the government continued the distribution of its ‘Because We Care’ and school uniform and supplies $30,000 cash grants to students of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level, on Friday.
Fifty-four students from St Rose’s High, 71 from St Stanislaus College, 115 from Bishops’ High, and 126 ‘A’ level first and second-year students from School of the Nations benefitted.
At the distribution sites, parents, guardians, and students expressed gratitude for the timely disbursement of the government’s education cash grant.
Parent, Francina Seeambar said, “I want to thank the government and the ministry of education, especially Ms Priya Manickchand for this great initiative and for considering giving the cash grant to CAPE students of St Roses and this will benefit the children in school uniforms.”
Another parent, Mark Edwards noted that he is appreciative and grateful for the cash grant.
“We know we live in a little, harsh financial time where things are a little tight around. So, any assistance that can help mitigate the pressure is well-received, at least, in my book,” he added.
A student of St Rose’s High School, Shaqwuan Barrow said, “I must say I feel good about it. I know that we would have waited a while to collect it.”
Francina Seeambar, parent
He said the money will be utilised for extra lessons and textbooks as he prepares for his examination.
Another St Rose’s High School student, Shivana Reed stated, “I think it’s an interesting initiative because I think it will come in handy, especially for the exam fees we have to pay next month. And it will help offset some expenses for other school supplies needed for CAPE.”
Jeremiah Hopkinson, also of St Roses High, said he too, was grateful for the cash grant.
Student of St Stanislaus College, Gabriel Ellis highlighted, “I feel that it is something good. I mean I would be able to put it to good use in terms of textbooks, uniforms, and another thing I feel I need.”
His schoolmate Tristan Hudson said, “I think it is very nice what they’re doing providing for us. There are lots of students, here, they’re trying to develop themselves for the future, educationally.”
Meanwhile, Noreema Ledrah, a teacher at St Rose’s High School, said, “I think it’s a good initiative because it helps parents, those who have financial struggles… As a parent, I have a child in a private institution, and I think it was quite helpful because it assisted with the tuition.”
Noreema Ledrah, Teacher at St Roses’ High School
Parent, Natasha Ellis explained, “I am very happy that you know, that the initiative is very good for children and having to cater to them, school-wise. I think it offsets some of the expenses like passage, nutrition, and brain food, at least. So, he can get to nourish his brain effectively and the textbooks.”
Guardian, Shaleem Yearwood noted, “I think it is a good idea that the government continues to give students access to education as much as some may be less fortunate, some may not.”
He added that the cash grant could be utilised for books and other necessities.
Parent, Winneth Benjamin-Collymore commended the government for its efforts to provide the money.
“I always commend the government when they give back to the citizens. Because it not only makes your life easy, but it also provides more disposable income so that you can assist your child to get the supplies that they need,” she related.
Mark Edwards, parent
“I think it is a good thing, it’s wonderful, and it’s exciting because the little bit will go a long way for many, many families. So, we want to thank everyone that is involved in this kind gesture,” another parent, Leelili Baichu expressed.
Student of the Bishops’ High School, Shamiah Yearwood explained, “I am overjoyed and I know the class is overjoyed because this is something that will help us with school and with other things and it will benefit us positively.”
Another student from Bishops’ High, Rebecca McPherson voiced, “I think this initiative is very beneficial for the CAPE students especially. Because it is known that CAPE subjects are more expensive than CSEC subjects. And certain parents don’t have the means to provide the monetary necessities to pay for the subjects. So, the cash grant will help in terms of giving them money to buy school clothes and things that are necessary.”
Principal of the School of the Nations, Simone Phillips underlined, “One of the things that I know that will help with is in terms of textbooks.”
Shaqwuan Barrow, student
She noted that it is difficult to acquire some of the textbooks in Guyana so, parents would have to source books from Amazon. She added that some of the textbooks are expensive and students may need about three or four textbooks annually.
A student of the School of the Nations, Naveen Hall said, “I intend to buy some clothes and supplies because I need some books right now.”
Another student from the School of the Nations, Christian Wagner said that the cash grant will assist some of the students to purchase textbooks, “the textbooks for Cambridge are quite difficult to attain, so I think it will assist greatly with the textbooks for studying.”
Education Officer for the Primary in Georgetown, Wendy Johnson emphasised, “I think it’s a very good initiative and the CAPE students have been waiting for this. They have been asking because they know that they enjoyed it last year.”
The cash grant initiative forms part of the government’s manifesto commitment to improve access to education at every level while reducing the cost of education to families.