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$150 relief for parents is enough, insists Rabain

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Diallo Rabain, Education Minister (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Ministers have insisted that a one-off $150 payment for parents of public school children is “enough” to help deal with the cost of living crisis.

Diallo Rabain, Education Minister, apologised to parents and guardians for the time it has taken to get the scheme up and running.

Parents can apply for the money from this evening and payment will be made to their bank accounts within ten working days of the submission of the application.

Mr Rabain said the payment, which works out at 41 cents a day across the year, was sufficient in light of the rising cost of living situation.

He told The Royal Gazette: “Yes, I do think it’s adequate.

“It is something that we are looking to give back to help our students prepare for the school year, and $150 is $150 more than zero. I do believe it will make a difference.”

Referring to applications starting just days before the school term begins on September 12, the Minister said: “I don’t believe it has annoyed parents.

“I have repeatedly apologised to parents that it has taken this long.

“And once we announced the programme and put the details behind the programme, it turned out that there was additional information that needed to be done to ensure that the fidelity of the programme was in place.

“So, we have taken our time to ensure that when the application process is launched we have worked out the bugs and all the things that needed to be worked out.”


Lawrence Scott, the Transport Minister, said the payment would be helpful.

He said: “It is enough. Keep in mind that we cannot spread this out over the course of the full year.

“Most of the expenses come with getting children their uniforms, their shoes.

“If the Government is able to provide resources to parents to, at the very least, clothe their children, to get them to school, that is successful and that is what is needed to be done.”

Mr Rabain said all students would return to in person learning at the beginning of term, but pre-schoolers would go back in a staggered form over three days.

He said: “When students or staff are out of school for five days or longer a negative certified anti-gen or PCR test is required as a prerequisite for returning to school buildings for in class teaching and learning.

“We want to keep our school environments as a safe as possible for staff and students to minimise any potential any potential disruptions from learning caused by a Covid-19 outbreak.

Lawrence Scott, Transport Minister (File Photograph)

“All students must have a certified negative result for Covid-19 obtained within three days of returning to school dated between September 9 and September 11 to return to school on September 12.

“As some pre-schools will have a staggered start, please note that your child’s negative test must be obtained a maximum of three days before their start.”

He said the testing system had been improved, stating: “The process also has an option for negative results to be shared directly with the school which should alleviate some of the issues we had with parents having to produce a negative result when their child first went into the school on their first day.”

Mr Scott said that mini-buses would help out with school journeys.

The Transport Minister said: “As we learn to live with Covid, the Department of Public Transportation will transition back to the 2019 level of student transportation services.

“The return of the pink and blue school bus service is a direct result of the 30 electric buses added to the fleet earlier this year.

“Even with the extra 30 buses, the DPT will not have the required 88 for the winter schedule. However, the department will use minibuses to assist some of the school runs to compensate for the shortfall of resources.

“Once the electrification plan of the bus fleet is in its second year, it is anticipated that the public buses will resume full school bus service.

“The department has not seen mass cancellations, like what was experienced last year.”

Free Covid testing is being held at Dalton E Tucker Primary, Bermuda College, and Francis Patton Primary.

Appointments for testing need to be booked online at schools.resqwest.com/web/.

Parents or guardians applying for the $150 payment can do so at bdamoed.powerschool.com.

Instructions for applying for relief

Instructions have been prepared and will be emailed to all parents and guardians using the email address parents have provided on file through PowerSchool.

The application form can be accessed from a laptop, computer, tablet, or phone using the Internet (not the PowerSchool App).

An application is only considered complete after submitting the application form and emailing the banking confirmation/ID details to reliefdocs@moed.bm along with a copy of an official Government photo ID.

All applications will be subject to verification, and funds will be sent to your bank for deposit within 10 business days of submission of a completed application.

A list of frequently asked questions will also be sent to parents, should they have questions about the payment process or the Relief programme.

If parents have not already reset their PowerSchool account, they can do so by going to bdamoed.powerschool.com and using the ‘forgot password’ function. The re-setting of the PowerSchool account is critical to making an application for the $150 Relief.

The application for this Relief will be open for two months, from today until October 31, so that all parents can access this financial support for families.

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Published September 03, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated September 03, 2022 at 7:59 am)

$150 relief for parents is enough, insists Rabain

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