Issue of private schools’ students benefitting from cash grants “still on the table” – Manickchand

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Education Minister Priya Manickchand

Minister of Education Priya Manickchand on Friday said that the issue regarding students of private schools benefiting from the Government’s cash grants programme “is still on the table”.

Manickchand was as the time providing a virtual media update where she outlined a number of steps being taken by her Ministry to ensure that students are engaged in academic learning utilising different ICT platforms.

“We are not of the view that once you are going to private schools you are rich, that is not our philosophy. But of course we are also limited sometimes by budgetary constraints, so it’s not off the table, it’s still something we are looking it,” the Minister told the media.

Minister Manickchand further clarified that it is not purely a decision to be taken by the Ministry of Education as it “it would be dependent on what kind of resources there are”.

According to Manickchand, since the last cash grants in 2014, several parents of students attending private schools had reached out to the Ministry indicating that they too would like to benefit from such a relief.

The “Because We Care” project was launched back in 2014 and was issued to parents for each child in the public school system. It was implemented with the aim of providing support to parents with school-age children and increasing their disposable income, with a view to raising enrolment and attendance rates.

However, after taking office in 2015, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government scrapped the project and displaced thousands of students and parents.

The Irfaan Ali-led People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government had said that it will be reintroducing the school children cash grant as well as doubling the allowance for school uniform vouchers from January 2021.

At the press conference, the President said that not only would the grant be restored and increased to $15,000 but also, his Administration would be doubling the allowance for uniforms. This means that the uniform voucher allowance will be $4000 per child in the public school system.