Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 04 April 2013 00:00

Minister Manickchand asks Opposition to support Gov’t in building education sector

- not only to point out weaknesses

Education Minister Priya Manickchand during her 2013 National Budget debate presentation this evening in the National Assembly issued a challenge to the Opposition to come on board with the Government to build the education sector.

Minister Manickchand was addressing the Opposition’s criticism of Budget 2013, which it said, fails to address the needs of the people.
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament Sydney Allicock who addressed the National Assembly prior to Minister Manickchand and took the view that Budget 2013 did not deal with the needs of Region Nine residents, had pointed out that it did not cater for a technical and vocational institute for the region, a facility that is critically needed to give skills to youths.

Minister Manickchand called on the Opposition to not only seek to point out what is wrong with the system, but to instead work with Government to overcome the challenges, and build a Guyana where all its children enjoy quality education from nursery to tertiary levels.

Minister of Education Priya Manickchand during her presentation in the National Assembly
“Mr. Speaker, this is the Guyana that we are trying to build. This is the Guyana that we will require, not us in the Government alone, this is the Guyana that we all have to work together to build, and this is the Guyana that this 2013 Budget helps us to advance,” Minister Manickchand said.

“Minister (Ashni) Singh is asking us to overcome our challenges together and to accelerate our gains for Guyana… we have challenges …but in recognising these challenges and in trying to overcome them together it requires us to do more, Sir, than wax lyrical in this House. We would have to put our shoulders to the wheels,” she pointed that.

The Education Minister stated that it is a lot harder to recognise a challenge and to work towards overcoming it and accelerating a gain although that would be best for the country and the people. “It is a lot harder to do that, than to sit in their proverbial armchair and say what is wrong with all that is around us,” she said.

Minister Manickchand told the National Assembly that she can speak firsthand of the problem in the education sector. “I would be the first to tell you, that for you to find something wrong with a system come to the sector for which I have responsibility, when you are dealing with 10,000 teachers, and 300,000 students and 1,000 schools you are bound to find something every single hour of every single day that is wrong in that structure, that is the way it is, that’s what we are dealing with.”

The sum of $28.7 B has been allocated to the education sector this year, bringing to a total $139 B being allocated over the period 2008 to 2013 to finance the National Education Strategic Plan. The sector is currently engaged in the development of a new five-year plan. Physical infrastructure of schools and other educational facilities will benefit from an investment of over $3 billion, while the University of Guyana will receive $1.7 billion.

Reiterating Government’s position that Budget 2013 is a ‘people budget’ that continues along the path of development started under the PPPC Government, she said it this is evident by the increasing allocation to the social services sector.

The education sector over the past five years has been allocated an average 15 percent of the National Budget compared to five percent in 1992. This year the social sector spending has risen over 16 percent to more than $70B being spent on the people of Guyana.

In this line, Minister Manickchand said that it’s disheartening to hear there is nothing in this budget for the people of Guyana. “When we are going to spend more than $70B on people of this country that is something in this Budget, $70B for the people of Guyana that is us saying to the people of Guyana in these particular sectors we love you and here is how we are going to manifest that love,” she said.

Minister Manickchand also revealed that plans are in the pipeline to construct a technical institute in Lethem.

Source: gina.gov.gy

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