By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Chief Whip, Amna Ally during her contribution to the ongoing National 2014 Budget Debate has disregarded the $220B Budget as a spend and hope document.
She argued that there was no certainty about the effectiveness of the education programme.
“The government come in this House and shout about the largest budget ever, over $200B but the greatest worry is despite the larger input we are not getting value for money, in some cases we cannot see where the money is going and the sufferers are only the nation’s children,” Ally said.
She told the House that a lot of money is spent on infrastructure in the education sector yet the outcome and outlook is dismal. She said there can be no vacillation by any Minister or the separation of responsibility for policy and infrastructure.
She recalled the many protest in face of collapsing infrastructure in 2013 and instances where children were absent from the formal learning environment as they did chores to ensure they were comfortable and in some instances fed.
The Chief Whip accused the government of neglecting several schools, particularly in the hinterland hence causing non delivery of education.
Turning her attention to the attainment of Universal Secondary Education this year as boasted as the administration, Ally said the move is a welcomed one but cautioned the government that it will not be achieved through political commentary but must be minutely worked out and monitored.
Ally also questioned whether the government has truly achieved Universal Primary Education.
The Opposition Chief Whip accused the government too of starving the University of Guyana of funds, adding that the institution is unable to pay their electricity bills and fall short on adequate furniture, projectors and other necessary equipment.
The 2014 budget allots 1.4B for UG, a reduction of $3M in 2013. In this regard, Ally said it behooves her to ask why the administration continues to stifle the country’s young people.
The APNU MP in her presentation also criticized the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET), the $10,000 education grant, dismissing it as ludicrous.
Ally said there was need to look at the reach of the Learning Channel since students in several Regions do not get the service.
Her presentation ended with several recommendations for improving literacy rates and the Education Strategic Plan.