Loan write off, free tertiary education for all Guyanese – Ali

PPP/C Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali

As the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) rolls out aspects of its manifesto for the upcoming elections, Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali continues to highlight specific sectors – this time drawing focus on the education sector.

He pointed out that the policies in the education sector under a PPP Administration would be geared towards improved access, quality, affordability and preparing Guyanese students at the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Tertiary levels so as to ensure that they secure better-paying jobs in line with the requirement of the economy.

“Consistent with these stated objectives, we would pursue several initiatives,” Ali asserted.

Prominent among these, he added, would be the delivery of free education at the University of Guyana (UG) and enhanced access through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Previously, it was explained that fee university education would not be available from day one of a PPP Government but within two or three years as they work out the details of this policy initiative. The party had also announced plans to give out 20,000 online scholarships, which will help with private education, especially in courses that are not offered by UG.

Adding to this, Ali outlined that a PPP Government will also peruse plans to have all outstanding loans written off. He noted that the party’s manifesto will detail policies to support these initiatives.

“In addition, we recognise the role of the Private Sector in education, as such, we will be announcing measures that will see generous tax concessions given to private providers from nursery to tertiary levels including technical vocation,” he stated.

The PPP Presidential Candidate went on to say that in order to address issues of affordability, quality and access, the party’s manifesto will detail a number of measures in this regard.

These include the restoration of the “Because We Care Grant”; attention to nutrition through various initiatives such as hot meal programmes; providing required textbooks to school children; ensuring all school children have access to school uniforms, and improving educational facilities.

Moreover, the PPP Administration will also establish special incentives for teachers and enhanced training and skill development opportunities; expand the use of ICT in education and thus ensure all Guyanese children and teachers have access to the infrastructure that will enable the use of ICT; enhance the focus on technical education and establish an online University.

Additionally, Ali said they will also be reforming and strengthening the monitoring systems for school management at public and private levels.

“These among other measures would ensure the delivery of quality education to our nation,” the Presidential Candidate stated.

Ali has already started talking about policies his party will undertake in major sectors such as economic development, security, mining and forestry among others.

Last month, PPP’s General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo disclosed that the party’s elections manifesto is being rolled out in three phases.

The first version of the manifesto will be in the form of posters circulating, containing some of the policies the party plans to institute immediately upon taking office. The second phase will be a more popular version of the manifesto, while the final version will be a detailed technical document.

Already, the PPP has published on its social media accounts several of these posters, outlining the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on key areas such as electricity, water and healthcare, as well as the reversal and/or reduction of taxes among other things.