With increase in student population, PPP/C spending much more on education – Manickchand

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Education Minister Priya Manickchand on Tuesday defended the government’s $94.4 billion allocation towards her sector in the 2023 national budget, saying it is in keeping with the administration’s vision.

Comparing this allocation to sums budgeted by the former APNU+AFC coalition during their five years in office, Manickchand detailed how the PPP/C was spending much more on education even with a growing student population.

For instance, the education minister said in 2019 the student population was 185, 000 and at the time the APNU+AFC made an allocation of $18.6 billion.

Fast forward to 2023, under the Irfaan Lai-led government, Manickchand said with an increased student population of 193, 000, the budgeted sum for education equates to roughly $237, 000 per child.

“We are spending double the amount on each child,” Manickchand told the National Assembly during her contribution to the budget debates.

A large part or 30 per cent of the education budget will go towards civil works. This will ensure that schools currently under construction are completed and construction for new schools will commence.

“Providing access is hugely important to ensure the delivery of quality education,” Manickchand added.

She noted too that “construction of no secondary school begun and or were completed under the Coalition government.”

Manickchand said issues like education should never be used as a punchline during debates and urged the Opposition to unequivocally support the allocations which are towards new school buildings, a feeding program and an education cash grant for each child among others.

“Education is valuable and the only way to permanently change the trajectory of any country and fortunes of any family and community is to ensure provisions to educate communities and individuals are supported,” she noted.

Manickchand also reassured the House that tuition fees to study at the University of Guyana will be a thing of the past by the end of this government’s current term in office.

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