The education sector received a massive $94.4 billion allocation in the 2023 National Budget and Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh noted that significant sums will be directed towards providing accommodation for fire-affected students, feeding school children and purchasing textbooks.
Of the overall sum, Dr. Singh said $12.4 billion has been allocated towards improving education infrastructure across the country. This means that new schools will be built or upgraded.
Importantly, he also said that money from this sum will be used to start construction of new facilities for the students of the St. George’s and Christ Church Secondary Schools since those facilities were destroyed by fire.
Beyond this focus, he announced that some $2.1 billion has been allocated for the continued rollout of the school feeding programme. This means that juice, biscuits, breakfast and in some cases, hot meals will be provided to children.
Importantly, a new “Home-Grown School Feeding programme” will be introduced to allow communities to provide fresh vegetables and milk among other food products to schools, Dr. Singh said too.
The allocation to school feeding programmes helps to improve access to education and the Finance Minister said this joins the reinstated People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C)’s ‘Because We Care’ cash grant.
Meanwhile, he also noted that $3.4 billion will be spent on procuring textbooks- a significant increase from the $1.4 billion allocated last year. This will allow primary and secondary school learners to access much-needed textbooks.
Significant sums were also allocated for the management and expansion of the University of Guyana ($3.7 billion) and the government’s GOAL scholarship programme ($1.8 billion).