Education Ministry gears up for start of new school year

Karl Samuda 
Ministry of Education
Karl Samuda, Minister with responsibility for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, addresses the media at the ministry’s annual Back-to-School Press Conference on Thursday. (Photo: JIS)

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information expects a smooth start to the upcoming academic year 2019/2020 on Monday, September 2.

At the ministry’s annual back-to-school press conference, held at its National Heroes Circle office, on Thursday, Karl Samuda, who has responsibility for the ministry, said that millions have been invested in various aspects of the education sector for schools and students to benefit.

“As part of our general preparations, we have undertaken a number of things… selected schools are being renovated [and] all is being done to meet the great demand that is placed on us at this time,” Samuda said.

“All is being done to meet the great demand that is placed on us at this time.”

— Samuda

Some of the payments from the ministry towards activities for the new school year include full funding for temporary and part-time teachers, payment for 18 temporary deans of discipline, $327 million for the payment of 1,093 school cooks in primary schools, $100 million for the upgrading of school canteens and provision of equipment, and $661 million for 126 schools under the 2019-2020 Critical Repairs Programme.

Another $120 million was provided for the PATH (Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education) students’ literature books at the secondary level, $26 million for the insurance of PATH students and wards of the State, a contribution of $380 million to the transportation programme of schools in eight parishes, and book vouchers for the neediest of students to purchase school supplies. Additionally, the ministry has spent $800 million on books for students under the National Textbook Loan Scheme and the Primary Textbook Programme.