(GUYANACHRONICLE)SENIOR Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, has said that $700 million will be disbursed across Region Six through the education cash grant initiative, which was rolled out countrywide on Tuesday.
During a distribution exercise at the J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School, Dr Singh, said: “I don’t want you to view this cash grant as an isolated initiative… it represents a much larger policy initiative being implemented by the government.
“We will ensure adequate access and we are building out enough infrastructure. I know that you have a high level of trained teachers already in Region Six, but you are not at 100 per cent. Our objective is to achieve 100 per cent trained teacher status. Thirdly, we are committed to ensuring that all schools are equipped to deliver quality education.”
Dr Singh said this is the agenda at a time when Guyana’s economy is undergoing dramatic changes and is now ranked among the fastest-growing economies in the world.
He told parents that with all the opportunities being made available, their children face the brightest prospects over prior generations in the history of Guyana.
“Every parent wants their children to enjoy a life that is better than the life they [the parents] had. We all have an interest in ensuring that our children have a good education. It will not only have an impact on the children, but also your entire families, the community in which you live and the country as a whole,” Dr. Singh said.
The senior minister during his visit to Region Six, was accompanied by Regional Chairman, David Armogan, and acting Regional Executive Officer, Mary Samaroo.
While in the region, Minister Singh also visited the Port Mourant and Cropper Primary Schools, where he checked on the status of the education cash grant distribution and interacted with teachers and parents at those schools.
More than 23,000 students across Region Six are expected to benefit from the education cash grant initiative.
The Ministry of Education, on Tuesday, began the distribution of the education cash grant across the country, as parents of school-aged children turned up at schools to uplift their vouchers in the sum of $30,000.
This initiative will result in the direct injection of $6 billion into the local economy, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The PPP, in its manifesto, had promised that by 2025, each school-age child will receive $50,000.
The “Because We Care” project was started in 2014 under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government, and saw parents receiving cash grants of $10,000 per child in the public school system.
However, when the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) assumed office in 2015, they discontinued the initiative, which was not only restored when the PPP/C returned to office in 2020, but was significantly increased.
Noting that the restoration of the cash grant initiative is the fulfilment of a promise that it made, Education Minister Priya Manickchand had said that the government wants to ensure that parents are given a helping hand that will go towards the education and success of all Guyanese children.
“You will see that nobody is going to ask you how you voted; nobody is going to ask you to take off your mask or take off your hat, so that we can see the colour of your skin or the texture of your hair,” Minister Manickchand said, adding: “Nobody is going to ask you whether you are male or female; nobody is going to ask you how you prayed last Sunday or last Friday; nobody is going to ask you which street you come from.”