$60.7B to transform education sector

The PPP/C Government continues to demonstrate its commitment to transforming the education sector with the allocation of $60.7 billion, the largest sectoral allocation in the 2021 Budget.

During his presentation on Friday, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh told the National Assembly that this allocation is “to develop a world-class education system”.

Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon Dr Ashni Singh

“We intend to ensure equal access to quality education, at all levels, for all children, regardless of their background, to increase and improve the quality and quantity of trained teachers, learning resources and materials, and to increase the use of innovation and technology in order to improve education delivery and learning outcomes.”

The Minister stated that under Budget 2021, teachers will also be awarded opportunities to improve their teaching skills. He said when the Government assumed office in August 2020, there was much to be done in the education sector. As such, the Government intends to equip all nursery to secondary schools with the necessary resources such as trained and highly qualified teachers. 

To this end, the government is on a path to revamp the Cyril Potter College of Education by taking it fully online to deliver classes and train teachers in far-flung communities.

Meanwhile, some $5.2 billion has been allocated for the construction of new secondary schools in Regions Four, Six and Nine with upgrades to be done to schools in other regions. The University of Guyana (UG) will receive $3.3 billion to finance the operation of its Turkeyen and Tain campuses.

“In 2021, we will conduct a review and mapping exercise with a view to increasing the number of schools across the country. In the interim, we intend to commence with two secondary schools in Region 6 and Region 9. Additionally, we will commence work on a secondary school at Prospect to address the growing demands on the East Bank of Demerara and the Abram Zuil Secondary School will be reconstructed to provide necessary facilities for learners on the Essequibo Coast,” Dr. Singh said.

Under Budget 2021, online learning will be expanded with the allocation of $1 billion. This is in keeping with the government’s plans to establish an online training institute which will see 20,000 scholarships being awarded over the next five years.  Meanwhile, the operations at technical and vocational training centres across the country will also be given a boost with an allocation of $884 million.