The Education Cash Grant is a start in dealing with the challenges

Dear Editor,
I refer to a ‘letter’ written by Aubrey Norton and the statements made by Parliamentarians Coretta Mc Donald and Annette Ferguson.
Their utterances are rubbish, and cannot withstand the simple test of scrutiny. They are myopic and biased, and belong in the garbage bin of the minds of right-thinking Guyanese parents, who know that something does not sound right when these Opposition politicians are up in arms against a grant to the children in the school system.
Their political stance on education is shameful, and I must say that I am disappointed but not surprised by their adopting a selfish and politically-foolish position. Also, their postures on the Because We Care initiative go against everything we know as facts, truth, academics, and ethics.
Firstly, Mr Norton said the PPP Cash Grant Initiative is inadequate and ill-conceived. He rumbles on in an uninspiring and unintelligent manner, listing a whole bunch of ludicrous assumptions. These cash grants are not the complete solution to the problems faced in education. Also, it is not a “one remedy that solves” every problem in the country that parents, teachers, and children face in the education system. It is, however, a good policy that gives the parents and children the means to access the education services offered to the public by enabling children to have transportation and school clothes.
The other problems are dealt with by other good policies in the education system. These policies deal with welfare, access to education through information and communication technologies, and the quality of education that these children receive.
The cash grant policy must never be seen as adequate when handling the general problem of getting children in schools to learn. It is a start, and the delivery on a promise made to the parents.
Research shows that Guyana is one of the highest-ranked developing countries in the Education Index of the United Nations Human Development Report. With a score of 0.943 on the Education Index, its overall rank is 37. It ranks third in the Caribbean after Cuba and Barbados, and second in South America after Argentina. So, why must we not give out this cash Grant Initiative to the poor people, to enable them to lead better lives through accessing the education services the Government is providing?
Secondly, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the rambling political schizophrenia and general lack of knowledge shown by Ms Mc Donald and Ms Ferguson. These two must read the mood of the Guyanese people during this pandemic first, and then get to a dictionary that would be their guiding light to understand how they could be an effective Opposition to counter the Government’s excellent job in education. Their political banter and useless attacks will not see a reduction in those who want to access the education grants to start the process of change and reformation in their lives. And that change is not based upon race, political affiliation, sex, conditionality, or religion, because it’s for every child.
Thirdly, an approximate number of 172,000 children will benefit from a total of more than $3.2B. The fact remains that the return of the Because We Care initiative by the PPPC Government is a fulfillment of its 2020 Election promise after that initiative was stopped by the APNU-AFC when they took office in 2015. This move took away billions of dollars from our struggling families and children.
APNU-AFC took away this money, and spent it on themselves, as they increased expenditure on dietary supplements by $1.8 billion, not to mention spending on multi-million-dollar lifestyles that the sons and daughters pursued.
Finally, one wonders what would be the APNU-AFC’s alternative to the cash grants policy in this COVID-19 world? And why didn’t they implement the same policy if they knew it was the way to go? The answer is simple for all to see: because the APNU+AFC didn’t care, and were visionless politicians just like Mr Norton, Ms Mc Donald, and Ms Ferguson.

Yours Truly,
Michael Younge