Dr. Singh tables External Loan Agreement in Parliament

…for strengthening of Human Capital through Education Project

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See the full statement from the Ministry of Finance below:

 

The Education sector will receive a major boost to expand access to a quality education at the Secondary level as well as to improve technical and vocational training (TVET) with an External Loan Agreement in the amount of SDR (Special Drawing Rights) 31,900,000 tabled in Parliament today by Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh.

The Agreement between the Government of Guyana and the International Development Association (IDA) provides for financing for the project which aims to:

(1) provide teacher training in on the new curriculum for Grades 7 to 9 including coaching and mentoring programmes, the development of and implementation of an instructional leadership and managerial programme for principals and provision of technical support;

(2) Financing of learning materials and purchase of textbooks for Grades 7 to 11 in line with the renewed curriculum and with Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) requirements;

(3)  Implementation of targeted interventions to address capacity and demand driven challenges to support student retention and access including the establishment of an early warning system (EWS) to combat dropout at the secondary level, provision of student counselling and guidance and re-enrollment and information campaigns encouraging return of students who have left the education system and promoting retention and

(4) Financing of a study of the impact of COVID-19 on learning and schooling losses, and to assess the impact of education interventions to recover losses and to further inform targeted interventions.

Government has been devising ways in which it can address the problem of learning loss as a result of the lengthy closure of school due to the COVID-19 Pandemic which began in early 2020. In September of this year, President Irfaan Ali, while chairing the first leaders’ roundtable on transforming education worldwide, recommitted to making tertiary education free in Guyana by the year 2025. He also committed to increasing expenditure on the education sector to twenty percent of the country’s National budget and six percent of its Gross Domestic Product. In September 2021, Education Minister Priya Manickchand highlighted that at least 1,000 primary school pupils from the public-school system had dropped out of school after the first year following the pandemic because the Ministry of Education (MoE) had been forced to close schools and adopt online learning. It was noted also that there was a significant drop out rate at the secondary school level where several students who registered for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) exams did not turn up to write their exams. With schools back in full sessions, Government’s aim is to address the learning loss and find ways in which it can rectify the issue and strengthen the teaching and learning environment.

In line with President Irfaan Ali’s vision to provide world-class education to citizens, $74.4 Billion was budgeted this year for the education sector, an increase from $60.7 Billion the previous year. The 2022 Budget measures included an increase in Government’s education cash Grant to each school child to G$30,000 (Uniform Grant $5,000 and Because We Care Grant $25,000). This Grant had been discontinued by the Opposition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC). The 2022 Budget interventions also included an allocation of $6.6 Billion for the construction, rehabilitation, extension and maintenance of educational facilities.

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