Uplifting educational standards
Guyana Chronicle
April 11, 2002

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Education Minister Dr. Henry Jeffrey has disclosed that the education Sector is receiving significant financial resources for continued uplift and enhancement of educational standards.

In 1992 the investment in the education sector was 4.1 per cent of GDP and 7.6 per cent of the Budget and rose to 8.4 per cent of GDP and 17.1 per cent of expenditure in 2001.

In the 2002 Budget expenditure in the sector is earmarked at 8.5 per cent of GDP or 17.2 per cent of the Budget, which is substantially larger than the previous year’s expenditure, proportionally the highest allocation in the Caribbean.

According to Dr. Jeffrey, $150M is set aside to construct and refurbish several schools this year and there will be implementation of a sustained programme of maintenance for schools and other buildings utilised in the education sector.

The Minister made the important point that while the provision of the physical infrastructure is important for raising educational opportunities and standards, the quality of delivery of education is also essential.

In this respect the emphasis on teacher training, curriculum reform will be increased and also the National Centre for Education Resource Development incorporated.

The Ministry will also increase its involvement in poverty alleviation in an effort to supplement the nutritional needs of more than 40,000 children in nursery and primary schools. The government had decided to increase its allocation for the purchase of milk and biscuits from $75M to $156.6M.

The amount set aside for grants for uniforms has been increased from $10M to $31M this year for the poorer sections of the society in all the Regions.

Since this Government came into office it has significantly increased expenditures in the social sectors including health and education and there can be no doubt that the population will increasingly benefit from the resources allocated and the resolve of the government to deliver better services to the people.
John DaSilva