According to the Finance Ministry’s latest End of Year Outcome Statement, nearly $53 billion was expended in the education sector at end of 2019. Of that total, about $25.1 billion was consumed on employment costs; $22.3 billion on other current operational expenditure; and, $5.5 billion on capital expenditure.
The Ministry said that employment costs rose as a result of increases in salaries, teacher uniform allowance and new recruits, while underspending of $574.3 million in other charges was due, principally, to delays in the implementation of the planned expansion of the School Feeding Programme. The agency was keen to note that the sector did see some stellar achievements for last year, one of which includes the completion of the first draft of the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2019-2023 that is expected to be finalized by the end of 2020. It also said that initiatives towards improving performance at all levels were undertaken and included ongoing teacher training, which resulted in 388 students graduating from the Cyril Potter School of Education.
The Guyana Standard also understands that a new batch of 659 prospective teachers was enrolled for the 2019/2020 school term.
At the nursery level, 1,500 nursery toolkits were distributed to teachers in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and 10 in an effort to sustain the gains achieved under the Guyana Early Childhood Education Project. At the primary level, it was noted that 400 mathematics kits were distributed to all Grade Four classes in schools in coastal regions, benefitting 10,835 students. In addition, 650 literacy kits were distributed to Grade Two teachers at all primary schools, benefitting 13,799 students. An additional 735 literacy kits were procured for Grade Three teachers and are to be distributed soon.