President Ali was speaking at the commissioning of the new state-of-the-art $585 million Abram Zuil Secondary School in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).
He revealed that the funds will be allocated for retrofitting, maintenance, and renovation of existing educational facilities and includes provisions for the improvement of teachers’ living quarters.
Notwithstanding the significant resources allocated this year for the education sector, the head of state said the government will be proposing a supplementary budget to the National Assembly..
“So you will see that in our next supplementary provision, we are going to have a chunk of these resources ready to support this investment of $11 billion across the country,” he said.
The president highlighted that the investment will be a crucial component of a comprehensive, multi-year agenda and programme for education.
He mentioned the Anna Regina Secondary School in Region Two which is in need of upgrades and expansion and will be included in the initiative.
“So when we look at the assessment, the Anna Regina Secondary School is also there ranked as a priority,” he underscored.
According to the president, this stems from a survey conducted last year, which has guided the development of the budget blueprint for educational and healthcare facilities. The survey aimed to assess the requirements and determine the necessary provisions in the sectors.
Meanwhile, in addition to the upgrading and construction of teachers’ quarters, particularly for those in the hinterland, President Ali said the government is examining basic standard salaries for teachers.
“Cabinet has also considered to ensure that all teachers are on a standard basic wage for teachers to avoid the disparity that exist. We are going to correct that from 2020 to now,” he stated.
These significant investments aim to establish an enriched learning environment for the country’s children, mirroring the exceptional standards set by the Abram Zuil Secondary School.
The modern facility accommodates over 810 students and features a two-storey structure with 27 classrooms, including seven equipped with interactive boards and computers. It also includes a multipurpose hall and three science laboratories, promoting hands-on experimentation and innovation.
One notable feature of the school is the inclusion of an elevator, providing essential accessibility for students with physical challenges.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, acknowledged that despite being in a bad state, the school had managed to perform exceptionally well, boasting the highest matriculation rate.
Minister Manickchand noted that the reconstruction of the List ‘A’ school is testimony to the government’s commitment to provide quality education to the nation’s children.
Highlighting the administration’s commitment to provide equal opportunities for students across the country, akin to the renowned schools in Georgetown, she said, “the evidence is there this clear, that once we invest in you, you will do well wherever you are.” (Department of Public Information)