Back to School Grants For PATH & Poor Relief Students

Back to school grants allocations will be disbursed to parents with children on the PATH and Poor Relief Programme at the Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary level. The announcement came from the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke in Parliament.

“The Government will for this fiscal year provide an overall Back-to-School grant of $8,500 per student at the primary and secondary education level who is within the PATH or Poor Relief Programmes, to assist with the procurement of school supplies as the new academic year commences. The Government will also provide back to grants of $5,000 per child at the Early Childhood level within the PATH and Poor Relief Programmes.”

According to Dr. Nigel Clarke, this move will alleviate some of the pressure that members of vulnerable groups are facing.

Disbursement of the Back-to-School grant will be through the regular PATH and Poor Relief payment avenues during the month of August. This means that the grant to the PATH students will be made by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security with the usual PATH bimonthly cash grant, while the grant to the Poor Relief students will be made by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development with the usual monthly payment.”

The opposition says the government should have allocated more funds to Members of Parliament to assist parents in the back to school period.

“More funds should have been provided for this, not talk about reallocating from the existing envelope. We are in a back to school crisis in an economy that is contracting. While we welcome the (back to school grants) $5000 per student for PATH and for the children on Poor Relief there are many families who are not on PATH and who need the help and are not going to get it,” says Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Mark Golding.”  There is nothing in this for them. It is an absolute dereliction of duty and I ask the Minister and the Prime Minister who is absent from the house wheel and come again.”