Over $5.8B in “Because We Care” cash grants, uniform allowances to be distributed this year

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Education Minister Priya Manickchand

The Government of Guyana will distribute a total of 193,679 “Because We Care” cash grants and school uniform allowances, with an estimated cost of over $5.8 billion in 2022.

Each child in the public and private school system will receive $30,000 – $25,000 as the grant and $5000 as an allowance for school uniform.

The distribution of the cash grant will commence on August 2 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and will continue throughout the country within the first two weeks of August.

“We’ll start in Region Three but almost everybody is going to be given it at the same between the first and second week in August,” Education Minister Priya Manickchand stated.

Earlier this year, the Education Ministry in a memorandum indicated that only parents and guardians who returned textbooks loaned to students for the school year by the Ministry will be eligible for the “Because We Care” cash grant.

The memorandum that was addressed to Regional Education Officers from across all ten administrative regions, informed that all textbooks that were loaned to students must be returned on or before July 7 for students to receive the cast grant.

The memorandum had also indicated to parents and guardians that if the textbooks granted to their child and/or children become lost or destroyed, they will be given the option of having the book(s) replaced. If the book cannot be replaced, a $5000 fee will be charged to the parent/guardian.

The “Because We Care” cash grant initiative was first introduced in 2014 and saw each public school child benefitting from $10,000.

However, the initiative came to a halt by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government but was reinstated in 2020 after the current People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government went back into office.

In addition to resurrecting the programme, the PPP/C increased the value of the cash grant to $15,000. This was alongside the $4000 uniform grant, meaning every child received a total of $19,000.

The PPP/C Government had initially stated in its manifesto that they will eventually increase these grants so that each student will receive $50,000 by 2025.