$3.5B for new schools in 2017 says Roopnarine
As the Budget Debate continues in the National Assembly Education Minister, Dr. Rupert Roopnarine highlights improvements and new measures to be implemented in 2017, on the other hand Opposition Member, Dr. Frank Anthony found the allocation in this sector lacking.
The Government MP rose, on Day two to defend allocations in the education sector. He said some 3.5 billion dollars will be expended in 2017 for the construction of new schools and teachers’ quarters with plans to train over 100 teachers in Visual Arts.
The University of Guyana can expect a 300-seat lecture theatre, as well as a new School of Medicine; while under the Yesu Persaud Endowment, Clinical Services will be expanded at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
Dr. Roopnarine called for formal, meaningful and constructive intervention from the Opposition and pledged inclusivity. He told the House “if we are to consider this general thrust in the education system in addition to initiatives such as the programming stimulation push from the Ministry of Telecommunications and the establishment of four new Hinterland radio stations to aid Language preservation in Amerindian communities and the newly announced Youth Innovation Fund, what we have is a clear programme designed to move us beyond the rhetoric of innovative thinking towards the laying of the ground work for the sustainable incorporation of innovation for international development.”
“I understand that a key purpose of a political opposition is to oppose and I allow that there would be differences in opinion on the how the business of certain sectors is administered but Education is not an area that should be a target of unnecessary politicking and partisanship,” Dr. Roopnarine highlighted.
Meanwhile in a fiery rebuttal Opposition Member of Parliament Dr Frank Anthony described the 2017 Budget as “visionless, ruthless and careless.”
The Opposition MP knocked the Government side of the House for not including more initiatives aimed at improving Visual Arts and culture.
“Mr. Speaker one of the things when I read the budget and when I heard the Minister of Finance speaking…was that now we will have an institute of the Creative Arts…I recall that two years ago at the National Cultural Centre I had the pleasure of giving a speech at the Convocation of the Institute of Creative Arts also Mr. Speaker, I invited at the time Professor Vibert Cambridge to give the feature address and yet we are talking about the Institute of Creative Arts as if it’s a new intervention or a new thing, it isn’t,” Dr. Anthony said.
In addition, Opposition MP, Indra Chandarpal who kicked off day two of the debates said the good life under the coalition government means increased taxation, joblessness and proliferation of crime.
The Parliamentary Opposition echoed the call for the budget to be withdrawn.