Manickchand defends investment in Education; explains its correlation with poverty alleviation

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By Kurt Campbell

Education Minister, Priya Manickchand makes her contribution to the Budget debate. [iNews' Photo]
Education Minister, Priya Manickchand makes her contribution to the Budget debate. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Education Minister Priya Manickchand has welcomed the monies allotted to the education sector in the National 2014 Budget.

The education sector received a total of $32.3B in this year’s budget.

The Minister pointed out that the investment is being made with the understanding that investment in the sector can significantly help in the process of poverty alleviation.

“Education is key to alleviating poverty and this government understands that… that is why we have matched our commitment in this regard by tangible budgetary allocations,” Manickchand told the House.

According to her, for the Opposition to say the budget has nothing for the people clearly shows their lack of understanding for the investment in education. She said their failure to understand speaks to the lack of vision.

She told the House that over the years, dating back to 1990 and with increased investment in the sector there have been significant improvements in the national pass rates at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination.

She reminded the House too that in 1992, under the PNC government only five percent of the budget was given to education, adding that in 2013 15.9%of the national budget was allocated to education.

“It is the PPP that can be trusted to take the nation’s children forward and we will be the first to admit that we are unhappy with some grades but because of the investment it will become better.”

Manickchand said that the budget coincides with the implementation of the first year of the Ministry’s five year strategic plan as she spoke of the projections for teacher and student improvement under the plan.

The Minister also indicates her intent to table amendments to the Education Act which she said does not meet the needs of the sector currently.

Using the monies in the 2014 budget, Manickchand said her ministry intends to print and distribute several books for both nursery and primary students, make schools and other buildings friendlier and catering for the differently abled, improve teacher training and more importantly achieve universal secondary education this year.

Manickchand did not fail to point out too her government’s committed to developing education in the hinterland.

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