– $150M for Education Recovery and Transformation project
THE Guyana Government continues to examine more innovative ways to stave off the predicted learning loss from the COVID-19 pandemic and has apportioned some $1 billion in the 2023 Budget to cater for initiatives geared at being education safety nets for vulnerable populations.
The $1 billion will be put towards the development of educational resources for radio and television, which will be largely used to improve education delivery in the hinterland communities. It also caters for water supply improvement solutions, due to water accessibility and its effect on education delivery.
The $1 billion is parcel to the overall $94.4 billion allocated to the Ministry of Education (MoE) in the $781.9 billion national budget currently before the National Assembly.
Also, among the MoE’s plans from the national budget, is a $150 appropriation for the Education Recovery and Transformation Project, which is part of an overall $20.37 billion project being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank.
The Education Recovery and Transformation Project includes the creation of a better learning environment in 31 hinterland schools mainly in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.
Meanwhile, another $65 million has been allocated, of an overall $210 million, which is being invested as technical assistance to indigenous education in a multi-year programme.
This caters for the development and piloting of English as a second language programme for children in preschool in hinterland areas, as well as school mapping, and the study on migrant children.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, had earlier explained that school mapping is playing a huge role in helping the country to achieve universal secondary education as it helps to determine where there are deficiencies, and where there are factors affecting the creation of new schools.
Achieving universal secondary education is currently a primary focus of the MoE over the past two and a half years. Minister Manickchand has underscored that while the country has already achieved universal primary education, meaning that 100 percent of the country’s population has access to a primary school, only approximately 70 percent of secondary education has been achieved.
This is largely due to the lack of accessibility of secondary schools for all of the country’s secondary school-aged children, all across the country.
As such, the MoE has been on an aggressive drive to complete secondary schools under construction, expand existing secondary schools and to begin the construction of new secondary schools all across the country.
This year, the MoE’s budget is catering some $5.5 billion for the completion of the St. Rose’s and The Bishops’ High Schools and the Yarrowkabra, North West and East and North Ruimveldt Secondary Schools.
Another $1.35 billion is going towards completion of Good Hope Secondary School, and the design of Prospect Secondary School, which both fall under the Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project (GSEIP), which is being funded with financing from the World Bank.
Also, under the MoE, some $2 billion has been appropriated for Human Capital Strengthening Project which will cater to the procurement of textbooks for Grades 7-11 and the piloting of the Grades 5 and 6 new curricula.
The procurement of textbooks and equipment for smart classrooms for secondary schools are also provided for in the education budget.