$8.9 billion approved to expand culture, youth and sport

The Parliamentary Committee of Supply approved the sum $8.9 billion on Friday afternoon for further advancement of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS) in 2024.

The allocated sum includes the sum of $2.7 billion to revitalize Guyana’s cultural landscape. This includes provisions for a new art gallery and museum and outfitting community spaces for cultural performances.

The National School of dance will receive over $10 million while Burrowes School of Art will receive some $16 million.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson during the consideration of the estimates

Also, the School of Music will see some $15 million being spent  this year while $4.5 was approved for the National Dance Company.

Additionally, the People of African Decent will be allocation a sum of $100 million.

Minister Ramson of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. told the House that the new drafted National Trust legislation has been completed and will be presented this year in the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, $4.6 billion for the advancement of sports this year, allowing young people access to world-class sporting facilities.

One noteworthy initiative coming out of the budget is the upgrading of sports grounds in every region amounting to the tune of $1 billion.

A total of 250 sports grounds were rehabilitated through the government’s injection of $1.2 billion last year. Minster Ramson stated that there will be further upgrades to these grounds.

“This year we will be focusing on the pavilions, washrooms, in alignment with our sports policy that we will be publicizing. All of that will be aiming to conclude this year, then ultimately for next year is where we focus on things such as lights,” he stated.

Provisions were also made for the continuation of construction works on the international stadiums at Crane in Region Three and Palmyra in Region Six, as well as multipurpose halls in Region Seven, Eight, and Nine.

The Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and the table tennis and badminton building at the racket centre will also be completed this year.

Minister Ramson informed the House that public consultation on the policies will commence this year at the MCYA conference, allowing for inclusive policies in favour of all.

“Both of those has gone through extensive preparation and submissions to the point where now we have the versions are ready now that we will be focusing on in 2024 to d our public consultation,” he revealed.

The Minister stated that these policies were never conceptualised by the previous administration, making it a groundbreaking achievement for government.

“The cultural and sport policy did not exist and it was an elaborate process that required us to have a comprehensive engagement as well as a comprehensive submission,” Minister Ramson reported.

Minster Ramson further noted that the sports policy will include policies governing disabilities in sport, well-being of athletes’ mental health, minimum standard for community grounds, minimum standards for sports disciplines, the nexus with sports and sports organisations and their policies, sports awards, incentives and prizes, sports and media, unity and social cohesion, women and girls in sport and more.

He also confirmed that this policy will contain minimum standard for travelling teams which was never originally contemplated in any policy.

The overall goal of the mministry, he said is to have a successful implementation of these policies for the progression of Guyanese, setting the standard for policy making in the region.