School Uniform Grant Program starts today; parents chide Gov’t for single-uniform voucher, given the spike in cost of living

The annual School Uniform Grant Programme commences today,
Monday, July 3, and is expected to run for eight weeks. 
Now in its 18th year, this initiative of the United Progressive Party
(UPP) Administration will see the distribution of vouchers taking
place at the Multi-Purpose Cultural and Exhibition Centre at Perry

Vouchers entitling students to one regular uniform will be
distributed from Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4.p.m., and on
Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Supervisor Tanesha McKenzie-James says the eligibility
requirements for the programme remain the same. However, she is
appealing to the public to remember the documentation needed.

“When visiting the Multi-Purpose Centre, returning beneficiaries
must present the student’s most recent school report and a form of
identification (government-issued),” McKenzie-James says.

Additionally, an acceptance letter from the school or third-term
report – along with valid identification for the student and
parent/guardian – must be presented to programme officials, she

The supervisor notes that, in order to be eligible, children must be
five years old by  December 31, 2023, and they will remain in the
database until completion of Fourth Form.

Students entering secondary schools through the Grade Six National
Assessment, she says, cannot receive vouchers until after the release
of their exam results on Friday, July 7.

This year, McKenzie-James says, beneficiaries of the programme can
use either the face-to-face or the drop-box option, with the second
one being available at the Perry Bay location.

A team comprising 40 customer service agents has completed
training ahead of the launch of this year’s programme, which runs
until August 31.

Meanwhile, some disgruntled parents tell REAL News that the
Browne Administration could have done better this year and
increased the number of uniforms to two, given the financial
hardship that thousands of residents are experiencing.

They point to the latest Consumer Price Index report, which
confirms that the cost of living continues to spike, especially on food
prices, and note that salaries – especially for Government workers –
have not increased proportionally.