Twenty percent of Guyana’s national budget will go towards education, president Ali tells UN

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President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

NEW YORK, USA – Increased investment through budgetary allocations in education is one way the PPP/C administration will be seeking to transform Guyana’s education system.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, made the disclosure as he chaired the ‘Transforming Education Summit Leaders’ Roundtable which forms part of the 77th United Nations General Assembly high-level week.

The head of state said education is a core element in Guyana’s transformation. He stated that investments in education are aimed at unlocking the potential of the country’s students to help them realise their aspirations, while enhancing a repository of skills available for national development.

“As part of our efforts to revamp the education system, the government will increase education expenditure to 20 percent of the national budget and six per cent of the country’s gross domestic product thereby ensuring adequate and sustainable financing for education,” the president told the UN.

In budget 2022 government had allocated $74.4 billion towards transforming the education sector with the aim of providing equitable access to quality education.

“Guyana commits to an inclusive education system, one that leaves no one behind. This entails narrowing access and attainment gaps by ensuring that every school aged child in regions is entitled to a sound primary and secondary education.”

President Ali also reiterated his government’s commitment to provide free tertiary education by 2025.

The roundtable was created so that world leaders can put their minds together to help children recover from the learning loss experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It gives leaders an opportunity to present national statements of commitments that outline bold visions and concrete actions for the transformation of education to drive progress towards the sustainable development goal and better prepare learners for the future.

President Ali also told the UN that government is actively addressing the learning loss that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the data from the diagnostic assessment in numeracy and literacy is what is guiding the remedial measures.

“Among the measures being planned to recover from the learning losses occasioned by the pandemic are accelerated tutoring services, the creation of a learning platform to bring students back to grade level and an early warning system to identify students at risk of falling behind.”

Guyana, he said, remains committed to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goal number four which speaks to quality education.

He noted that this will be done by introducing more in person tutoring, reforming the national curriculum, extending the use of ICT in education, increasing access to digital and non-digital educational resources and increasing distant education.

The government, president Ali noted, has implemented measures to improve school attendance through the ‘Because we care’ grant, a uniform allowance grant and the implementation of an expanded school nutrition programme to boost classroom attentiveness, school attendance and performance. Additionally, he said there has been continuous training of teachers with the aim of having 100 percent trained teachers in schools by the end of the decade.

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