$42.9B injected to advance access to education in half-year

In the first half of 2023, a sum of $42.9 billion was utilised to enhance access to high-quality education countrywide from the education sector’s $94.4 billion 2023 budgetary allocation. 

The government has been diligently working to fortify the education system by implementing a wide array of initiatives, including investments in education infrastructure, cash disbursements, a national school feeding programme, textbook distribution, and teacher training.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, other officials, and students at the commissioning of Tuschen Primary School

From $12.4 billion earmarked to enhance education infrastructure, some $2.6 billion was expended during the first half of 2023. Notably, the construction of the Good Hope and Abram Zuil Secondary Schools reached completion in this period.

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, construction projects are set to continue at secondary schools including St Mary’s, St George’s, Patentia, Christ Church, North Ruimveldt, Hosororo, and Prospect.

Students in a classroom

A comprehensive school mapping project was initiated to assess the physical condition of every school in the nation and to identify the need for new structures, maintenance, and renovations. By year-end, schools in Yarrowkabra and Diamond are expected to be fully completed.

Additionally, over 200,000 public and private school students benefitted from the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant and school uniform and supplies grant, at a cost of approximately $8.1 billion.

Teacher and students in a laboratory

The National School Feeding Programme has benefited over 87,000 students by offering juice and biscuits, breakfast, and hot meals, thereby boosting attendance and enrollment while ensuring students receive nutritious meals.

In the first half of the year, $1.5 billion was allocated to provide breakfast to 15,208 pupils, hot meals to 29,691 students, and juice and biscuits to 42,735 students across the nation.

Furthermore, starting in September 2023, a new programme will enable local community farmers to supply fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, for the preparation of meals at primary schools in Wauna and Nappi in Regions One and Nine respectively.

Good Hope Secondary School

A total of $1.6 billion of the $3.4 billion budgeted for the procurement of textbooks for primary and secondary schools was expended in the first half of 2023.

By the end of the year, it is anticipated that all primary school students and students in grades seven through 11 will have all of the necessary textbooks.

Meanwhile, for the upcoming academic year, more than 2,800 persons have applied to study at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE).

Some 2,758 of the 4,478 trainee teachers who are currently enrolled in the programme have been assigned to the school system to support training in classrooms.

These are just some of the strategic initiatives and qualitative impacts the government has invested heavily to ensure the nation’s children are provided with a quality education countrywide.

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