Book grant ’scandal and scam’
By Imran Ali
Member of Parli- ament for Siparia Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has reiterated that government’s book grant programme is a “scandal and a scam”.
In a media release, Persad-Bissessar the former Minister of education claimed that at some schools, parents were being asked to sign a form indicating that they had received the $1,000 book grant cheque without actually having received it.
The statement did not disclose if any reports of this were made to the Ministry of Education.
Persad-Bissessar is part of a UNC team that includes party leader Basdeo Panday who are on a Miami fund-raising drive. They are due to return home tomorrow evening.
“Parents say to date the schools are not in a position to say when the actual cheques can be collected,” Persad-Bissessar stated.
“Cheques are not reaching schools as advertised, then there is a two-day wait for processing by the schools and Central Bank has now been asked to have cheques cleared in four days instead of the stipulated seven days,” the statement continued.
Persad-Bisessar charged that “parents are being set up by the Manning government and that “it is clear that the PNM is totally incompetent in administration and performance”.
At a post-Cabinet meeting on Thursday, the Education Minister admitted that not all book grants could be delivered by September 2–the opening of the new school term.
She attributed the delay to a protracted research programme, and expressed the hope that all the book grants would be handed to parents by Setpember 8.
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