‘Because We Care’ grant is an investment of taxpayers’ money
-Minister Hamilton tells East Coast schools
The Government’s ‘Because We Care’ cash grant, administrated by the Ministry of Education is an investment of taxpayers’ money in the education of Guyana’s children, and the initiative would increase with successive national budgets.
This was iterated by Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton MP, Saturday, during the rollout of the programme at the Golden Grove Primary and Secondary schools, East Coast Demerara.
Minister Hamilton told parents and guardians, “We committed to you that this programme will be increased over time, during our tenure in office to $50,000 per child. This is the beginning of that commitment.”
He added that the realisation of the grant is a tangible reminder that the Administration focused on keeping the promises made to the electorate in the run-up to the 2020 elections.
The Minister underscored that the grant was not ill-conceived, but that the Government intends to protect the welfare of its citizens through sound investment of taxpayers’ money.
“We don’t think we are doing you some special favour. The money that will be distributed to you today, it is your money… All we are doing is giving service that we have committed to do.”
Minister Hamilton told parents that although grant targets children in the public school system, the Administration is considering extending the programme to children enrolled in private schools.
On the side-lines of the event, several parents whose children attend schools in the surrounding area commended the initiative as one that will offset educational expenses for their children.
Ms. Bonita Evans told DPI she intends to invest the money in improving her 13-year-old son’s eyesight so that he can perform better at President’s College.
“I went and price his glasses yesterday. The glasses is $40,000, so I gonna put the rest with this money and get his [glasses] ’cause he’s not seeing well out of one of the eyes. He gotta go close to see the letters,” she explained.
Another parent, and former teacher, Mrs. Zola Cameron-Lubin said, “this grant is a great initiative in my view and I think it will assist parents so that they [are] able to at least assist their children as it relates to internet access, or if they have to get a tablet or whatever the case is.”
For single parent, Ms. Shondell James, who works as a security officer, the money will ease financial constraints.
Ms. James said, “Some months… I just working to pay bills and eat, so it will do a good for me… Most importantly, the school clothes and like other fine things like books and so.”
The $19,000 per child cash grant initiative is made possible through a $3.2 billion allocation in the 2021 Budget. Government Ministers, with the assistance of teachers and other staff of the Ministry of Education, are spearheading the launch of the programme countrywide.