Jan 12, 2009 News
– Minister Baksh
The Education Sector Strategic Plan for the period 2008-2013 has finally been completed, and according to Education Minister Shaik Baksh, the document has been well accepted by Cabinet and the donor community.
Minister Baksh revealed, though, that the ministry will have to obtain additional funding, which will be necessary to complete the various programmes which the Plan entails.
And according to him, the additional funding is expected to be sourced from Government.
The Education Ministry has already been assured that the Plan will benefit from a $20.5M grant from the Education For All Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI).
Minister Baksh revealed last year that it was during his attendance of an EFA-FTI meeting in Paris that he was able to solicit the much needed funds.
In accepting the Plan, the minister disclosed that the donors have paved the way for Guyana to be in receipt of a full three-year tranche of funding, which will be available through the sizeable grant.
He said that the grant was made available through a consortium of donors which the EFA-FTI represents.
Previously, the Education sector was afforded annual funding for the FTI initiative for three years.
According to Minister Baksh, most of the funding will be used for upgrading the education system, which includes improving the delivery of education, teachers’ houses, school feeding programmes, sanitation facilities, resource materials, and learning resource centres.
The strategic plan, the minister said, will prominently feature health and nutrition, which is indicative of the ministry’s intent to address the safety and wellbeing of students. The objective of universal secondary education is expected to be reached, too.
And according to the minister, the administration has been very much concerned, over the years, about the Education sector, and will be directing immense attention to the improvement of it.
Moreover, he emphasised that the Plan is intended to better the current status of the local education system, adding that the additional funding will eventually be afforded through the national budget.
He explained, though, that over the period of the Plan, Government will have to look at its priorities.
However, he noted that the international financial situation, the performance of the economy, the impact of remittances, and the flooding situation will all have to be considered by Government in preparation for the 2009 Budget.
The minister said that during last year, Government was very committed to the Education sector, which was evidenced by the allocation of the highest percentage of the budget to that sector.
He added that at the regional level Guyana is at the top of the league in that regard.
He stated that, according to the statistics of the most recent educational global monitoring report, Guyana is at the top in terms of expenditure on education, even as he noted that every effort must be engaged to ensure that there is greater value for money in the education system.
In the year 2008, twenty-three new schools were built in Guyana, among them nine nursery, ten primary and four secondary schools, a development which is regarded as a good achievement by the minister.
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