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Minister of Education, PriyaManickchand said new and existing programmes and policies of the government will see the recovery of the education sector.
Alluding to the drastic learning losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the education minister stated that government will continue to implement programmes, utilising funds from this year’s education sector budget of $ 74.4B to advance learning across the country.
Delivering points during the national budget debate Wednesday, Minister Manickchand said the budget will allow for a host of developments including providing extra lessons for all students through the expansion of the Guyana Learning Channel, the school feeding programmeand enhancing ICT classrooms.
She said all students will have access to electricity and internet, as well as the Guyana Learning Channel to aid the delivery of education.
“We are investing, in this budget, in 11,000 devices, 11,000 tablets and flash drives and it was rather disappointing to hear two members from the hinterland come to say don’t bother buy it because them ain’t got electricity there. That is so backward and selfish… We don’t have to wait until all the conditions are right in any event, before the end of 2022 all primary and nursery schools across the country will be connected with electricity and the learning channel.” she stated.
Minister Manickchand also addressed the government’s decision to reopen schools, noting that it has been consistent with the rest of the world.
She said there were only 12 buses provided for a student population of some 12,000 under the APNU-AFC’s term in office.
“We are keeping the buses’ programme and still giving the cash grant,” she said, noting that Bartica will benefit from a new bus to take students to and from school.
The minister reiterated that during the APNU+ AFC’s tenure, only three schools from Region Six benefited from the school feeding programme while schools in Regions Two and Ten were not catered for.
The government’s school feeding programme now caters to all government schools across the country.
She said when the administration initiated the “Because We Care Cash Grant Initiative in 2014, it was done through engagements with the people to determine whether they preferred cash or a voucher.
The minister said education and learning recovery is a key priority of the government as the country cannot afford to lose this generation of children. The government’s education sector budget caters for reforming the school curriculum, expanding teachers’ training programmes, construction of new schools and establishing robust systems, among other initiatives. (DPI)