Latest update March 25th, 2023 12:57 AM
Jan 17, 2023 News
…$12.4B to improve infrastructure
Kaieteur News – The Government on Monday announced that some $94.4B has been budgeted for the education sector with the aim of increasing access for all, across all levels and at world class standards.
Senior Minister with the responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh during his $781.8B National Budget presentation in the National Assembly revealed that a sum of $12.4 billion has been dedicated towards the construction, rehabilitation, extension, and maintenance of educational facilities.
Budget 2023 is themed ‘Improving lives today, Building prosperity for tomorrow’.
The Minister acknowledged that school infrastructure, especially in the hinterland and riverain areas remain a challenge while noting that the Government is committed to providing a quality learning environment for all students.
In this regard, he announced that from the allocated sum, construction of secondary schools in Hosororo in Region One, Patentia in Region Three, Orealla in Region Six, Prospect on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD), Good Hope on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), Yarrowkabra on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, North Ruimveldt in Georgetown and Diamond on the EBD will begin.
“We will also commence the construction of facilities to house the students of St. George’s and Christ Church secondary schools. Additionally, we will take actions to provide short-term accommodation where there is overcrowding,” he stated. As reported, St. George’s and Christ Church were two schools that were recently gutted by a fire.
Minister Singh also stated that part of the money would see the government continuing the roll out of the National School Feeding Programme which will provide breakfast and hot meals as well as juices and biscuits to over 85,000 pupils at a cost of $2.1 billion.
Additionally, a new Home-Grown School Feeding programme, which allows communities to provide fresh vegetables and milk among other food products to schools, will also, be introduced.
Meanwhile, Dr. Singh announced that the Ministry of Education’s move to incorporate Information and Communication Technology in the sector, will see the Education Management Information System software being implemented in all secondary schools in Region Four and Georgetown, to improve the data management capacity, the monitoring of school performance and decision-making.
“We will also create 20 smart classrooms for secondary schools bringing the total to 36 smart classrooms by the end of the year and we will procure in excess of 7,500 tablets, which are capable of functioning offline in areas with poor connectivity,” he announced.
As it relates to textbooks for learners, the Minister disclosed that from the allotted sum, government plans to spend $3.4 billion to purchase more textbooks for use at the primary and secondary levels.
On the subject of reforming teacher training, Dr. Singh said that the government intends to have all teachers trained by 2025 in keeping with the President’s education vision. He noted that over the last two years, 907 teachers have completed training.
At the Tertiary Education level, the Senior Minister noted that to meet the growing demand for qualified personnel, tertiary institutions in the country will increase their intake to produce more graduates to boost Guyana’s human capital. Over the last two years, he shared, 6,100 students graduated from the University of Guyana.
According to the Minister in 2023, an amount of $3.7 billion is allocated for the management and expansion of operations at the University of Guyana Turkeyen and Berbice campuses. Additionally, the sum of $1.8 billion is budgeted for the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarship programme and caters for 8,555 new students and 1,047 continuing students.
Meanwhile, focusing on the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) this year, the government has budgeted $2.5 billion for the programme.
The Senior Finance Minister also stated that works will also commence in 2023 on the construction of a Guyana Technical Training College at Port Mourant, Berbice that will be the premier institution offering oil and gas training.
Lastly, the Minister announced, “Mr. Speaker an amount of $488.5 million is allocated for the Board of Industrial Training to expand training programmes in 2023 for 7,890 persons.”
In 2022, the Government had allocated some $72 billion for the education sector.
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