BUDGET 2022: Building schools, scholarships big focus of $74.4 B education budget

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Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh has announced that $74.4 billion has been allocated to improving access to education and education delivery in the 2022 National Budget.

Of this sum, Dr. Singh said that $6.6 billion has been allocated towards education facilities, including the commencement of construction of Prospect Secondary, in addition to the reconstruction of North Ruimveldt and North West Secondary schools, both destroyed by fire last year.

Dr Singh said that nursery schools at Hydronie, Haslington and Vryheid Lust; and primary schools at Bamia/Amelia’s Ward, Kaikan, Karabairu, Zeelugt and Oronoque are all slated for construction works.

Importantly, too, the Finance Minister said that a $2 billion sum has been allocated towards the expansion of the schools’ feeding programme, targeting 85,773 pupils across 902 coastal, hinterland and riverain nursery and primary schools.

And, $295.7 million will be spent on providing approximately 11,000 tablets and flash drives loaded with teaching materials at the primary and secondary school levels. This is as a result of the known technology challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allocations have also been made for procuring more textbooks and science kits.

Of particular note, Dr Singh said that the government will be continuing with the GOAL scholarship programme to allow more Guyanese to further their education. As such, $1.3 billion has been allocated to meet the costs of another 4,500 scholarships and for 2,726 continuing students. About 6,000 scholarships were given in 2021.

To strengthen Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)- which Dr. Singh is crucial to meet labour market needs in Guyana- $2.5 billion has been allocated. Through this, it is expected that 4,500 young people will be equipped with skipps to pursue entrepreneurship and gain employment.

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