-includes $30,000 for each school child, $1.3B for GOAL scholarships , laptops for teachers
Government has allocated $74.4 billion for the education sector in the 2022 budget and among the initiatives it will cover is the increase in grants for school children, laptops for teachers, the expansion of the National School Feeding Programme and the cost of 4,500 GOAL scholarships.
The allocation represented a 22.6 per cent increase from 2021, and accounts for 13.5 per cent of the overall $552.9 billion 2022 budget, which was unveiled by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, on Wednesday, in the National Assembly.
Of note is the increase of the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant from $15,000 to $25,000 for each school child. Parents will also receive an extra $1,000 on the $4,000 school uniform voucher which is distributed annually.
The two sets of increases will place an additional $2.2 billion in disposable income into the pockets of parents.
Additionally, $295.7 million has been set aside to purchase laptops and other devices for 425 teachers.
Other measures included in the Ministry of Education’s budget allocation include $1.2 billion for the purchase of textbooks for public school learners, over $20 million for the purchase of 2,000 micro-science kits, $3.5 billion for the University of Guyana (UG), $1.3 billion for an additional 4,500 scholarships under the Guyana Online Learning Academy (GOAL) programme, $2 billion for the National School Feeding Programme, which will benefit a total of 85,773 learners across 902 nursery and primary schools, and $6.6 billion for the construction, rehabilitation, extension, and maintenance of educational facilities.
The $6.6 billion for works on educational facilities will include money for the commencement of construction of the long awaited Prospect Secondary School as well as the reconstruction of the North Ruimveldt and North West Secondary Schools, which were severely affected by fire in 2021.
Also slated for construction works are the Hydronie, Haslington and Vryheid Lust Nursery Schools, and the Bamia/Amelia’s Ward, Kaikan, Karabairu, Zeelugt and Oronoque Primary Schools.
Also under the ministry’s allocation, is money for the completion of dormitories at the Kato and the Linden Technical Institute (LTI) and the construction of several science and information technology laboratories, smart classrooms and the maintenance of other educational facilities.
During his budget presentation, Dr. Singh explained that the 2022 budget for education is a reflection of President, Dr. Irfaan Ali’s vision for the sector.
“An education system that delivers a modern, model, and adaptive learning experience is an imperative to realising His Excellency’s vision of a world-class education for all. Improved access, quality, and relevance are essential to raising Guyana’s human capital to the levels needed to advance and sustain the imminent transformative economic and social development,” he said.
Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle after Dr. Singh’s presentation, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand said she was elated to hear of all the measures for education that the government was able to include in this year’s budget.