As she defended budgetary allocations for regional development on Thursday night, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Sonia Parag said Budget 2024 caters for some amount of training for all public servants in the Spanish language.
Parag spent all Thursday fielding questions about the allocations to her ministry and the 10 administrative regions.
Thursday night, when the Parliamentary Committee of Supply began scrutinising the allocations for Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne), Opposition Parliamentarian Natsaha Singh-Lewis quizzed Parag about English language training for Spanish-speaking nurses at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
Parag said the $13 million set aside for training in this region does not include English training for those nurses. She, however, said language training for all public servants is coming.
“There is a project that is coming under the 2024 budget that will engage all public servants, including nurses, with Spanish.
“The region will not do so but the central ministry will conduct training programmes to enable these things to happen,” Parag said.
Parag only weeks ago appointed Minister of Local Government and Regional Development. Before that, she served as the Minister of Public Service and had oversight, among other times, for training in the public service.
And at the Public Service Ministry’s end-of-year press conference in January, Parag first announced that all public servants would benefit from Spanish tutoring this year. She said then that training is expected to commence in March and will run for 16 months.
Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali has publicly spoken about the importance of more Guyanese learning the Spanish language. Spanish became a compulsory subject in all public schools last September.
Outside of this project, the $13.8 billion allocation for Region Six- the largest regional allocation- was approved.