Education allocated $43.1B in 2017 Budget

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, November 28, 2016

The Coalition Government continues to place increased emphasis on the delivery of quality education across all levels, as reflective in the budgetary allocation of $43.1 B, or 17.2 percent of the 2017 National Budget.

dsc_0094Delivering the Budget to the National Assembly today, Minister Jordan said that the government’s annual allocation to the sector is in recognition of the definitive role that it is expected to play in changing the country’s development trajectory. It also recognises that there are problems which beset the sector, which must be tackled at the core, beginning from early childhood through to university and beyond to ensure that the quality of the education afforded to the citizens is in keeping with what is needed for the nation to advance and compete within the global economy, the Minister said.

Towards, this goal, he explained that in the $43.1B allocation to the sector, a sum of $1.9 B will provide for the school feeding programme and $578M for the purchasing of textbooks.

Together with the President’s 5 Bs Programme, Minister Jordan said that these measures are expected to result in improved attendance, attentiveness, and productivity.

Further, to address issues of overcrowding and facilities’ improvements over $3.5B has been allocated to construct, extend, rehabilitate and maintain schools, teachers’ quarters and other buildings.  Within this, Minister Jordan said, several new schools are slated for completion including Yurong Paru and Hiowa Nursery Schools in Region 9, Bamia Nursery and Primary in Region 10, and Baramita Nursery in Region 1.

A total of 481 trained teachers were added to the pool of qualified teachers in the public school system this year. Minister Jordan said that in 2017, Government aims to add 600 more to afford each student increased quality contact time. Furthermore, he said, Government will step up the distribution of computers under the One Laptop per Teacher Initiative, which was launched this year. According to the Minister approximately 9,500 laptops will be distributed to teachers countrywide to improve classroom instruction and productivity.

Budget 2017 also provides for about $2.4B to be invested to improve learning outcomes of students, at the secondary level, with the aim of expanding the pool of employable, certified labour that can adequately bridge the skills gap. Minister Jordan said that special focus will be placed on improving access for persons with disabilities.

Further, $2.5B has been allocated for Technical Vocational Education (TVET) interventions countrywide, the Minister said. This investment will see the expansion of TVET programmes into the four hinterland regions.

Budget 2017 also caters for the   on-going repositioning of the University of Guyana (UG) and the efforts to generate revenue and pursue investments that will create a more financially sustainable institution.

For 2017, the Government has allocated $2.9B to support UG’s operations and construct a teaching and learning complex for mathematics and science. Minister Jordan said that the Student Loan Agency will be restructured to ensure institutional sustainability, achieve efficiency in processing of student loans, enable an electronic database to improve client interactions and improve customer service.



By: Macalia Santos