Educators of private institutions are hailing the Government’s proposed removal of corporate tax on private education as a step in the right direction in Budget 2020. Several of them expressed the view that the proposed budgetary measure will allow them to improve and expand their services to their students, among other positive outcomes.

In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Director of School of the Nations, Dr. Brian O’Toole said his school, established 42 years ago, was looking forward to the removal of the tax.

“It was not very long ago that Nations was at the forefront about the 14 per cent [Value-Added Tax] (VAT) added on to private schools. At that time, we were told of the 58 private schools according to the then Minister of Finance, only four paid their taxes and we were certainly among those four. So, if in fact, that is the case, it gives us a level playing field,” the Director said.

Dr. O’Toole said in many parts of the world there is a good partnership between private and public education, which has not been the case in Guyana. However, he lauded the Government’s efforts to make conditions more equitable. “If indeed it does come through, it shows a very different mindset… so we are delighted if indeed this goes through and it will have all sorts of positive outcomes,” he 20200914 2

Director of Studies of Apex Education, Shazad Ali expressed similar sentiments.

“It means that schools can able to acquire and purchase for example, in a Science laboratory, more chemicals, more instruments and apparatus needed for the SBA [School Based Assessment] component. Also, parents would have more money in their pockets,” he said.

Vinton Blair, speaking on behalf of Director of Caribbean First Class Elementary Lavina Edwards, also commended the Government’s decision to remove the tax.

“It shows and demonstrates interest by His Excellency and his Administration in the futures of the generation of tomorrow… This move, in light of the current situation, facing a pandemic of catastrophic proportion to our economy and the world at large, helps us an education facility to continue to provide excellent service to our students,” he 20200914 1

The removal of corporate tax on private education is just one of the measures proposed in the 2020 Budget to advance education in Guyana. In this effort, $52 billion is being proposed in the budgetary allocation.