Opposition Parliamentarian and former Telecommunications Minister, Catherine Hughes has scoffed at the government’s plan to distribute some 11,000 tablets and flash drives to students; describing the number as insufficient and nonreflective of a country that is now tapping into funds from oil.
The government, through the Senior Minister with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh announced plans to accelerate comprehensive digitalisation of the education sector with the provision of computing devices to 300 primary school and 125 secondary school teachers, along with the distribution of approximately 11,000 tablets and flash drives loaded with teaching materials to students. The proposed expenditure is pegged at $295.7M.
But Hughes, instead of saying tablets, referred to laptops in her presentation. Nevertheless, she reminded the Guyana is home to about 200,000 school-aged children and that each should get a laptop.
“We are the fastest growing oil producing nation but the best we can do is 11,000 laptops. Surely by now with access to US$607M from oil reserves every Guyanese child should have been given a laptop,” she told the House.
Meanwhile, her colleague Opposition MP, Roysdale Forde S.C., said that the personal income tax should be removed. He opined that such a measure would “control inflation”, adding that should the Opposition regain the reins of government it will move to abolish this measure.
“Let me make it clear that APNU will remove the personal income tax altogether. We want you to be in control of your lives not the government. The proper way to ensure that you can invest and take care of your family is to remove the Personal Income Tax. The proper way to control inflation is to remove the Personal Income Tax, so that you could invest and produce more goods and services for this country,” the Senior Counsel said.
The Budget 2022 debates wrapped up at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, last night.