With the second phase of distribution of the $30,000 ‘Because We Care’ cash grant and uniform voucher completed, it has been revealed that a whopping 9,000 parents did not show up to collect the monies.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Education commenced the distribution of the “Because We Care” cash grant and uniform allowance at various schools across the country.
The grant has been increased this year t0 $25,000, while the school uniform and supplies voucher increased from $4,000 to $5,000, taking the total to $30,000
The initiative targets both public and private school students. Some 194,000 were expected to benefit.
At the conclusion of the distribution exercise, it was observed that some 11,000 parents did not get to uplift their grants and as such, a second distribution initiative was held.
Upon completion of that exercise, it was observed that still, a large number of parents did not show up to collect the grants.
“We had just under, 11,000 parents who our records said would have been entitled, that we wanted to serve on the second occasion. Unfortunately, the numbers that turned out were very, very low…” Education Minister Priya Manickchand told reporters on Wednesday.
“In most regions, we saw under 20% of those who would have been entitled receiving the grant,” she added.
Reports are that more than 20,000 persons uplifted the grants during the first round of distribution which spanned four days. However, a significant number of parents were unable to do so and as such, the government decided to host another distribution activity on August 18.
“The government’s job is to provide the funding for this grant and to make it accessible but we can’t force people to take it,” Minister Manickchand posited.
“I think, you probably would have had just about 9000 parents whose children would have been entitled but did not receive it,” she further revealed, noting that more precise figures will be released to the public shortly.
In 2021, the government disbursed a total of $3.3 billion in “Because We Care” cash grants to public school students countrywide.
The cash grants were also extended to students attending private schools where each child received $19,000 amounting to a total of $284.8 million.