JIS: The Government is moving to address human resource, infrastructure and equipment needs at primary and secondary schools across the island.

 

This comes against the background of a comprehensive audit, which showed that a number of institutions are under resourced.

 

Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, shared the details of the audit during his contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on July 31.

 

He said that for primary schools, the greatest areas of need identified were for classroom teachers, guidance counsellors, caregivers, cooks, watchmen and janitors.

 

At the secondary level, the necessities included classroom teachers, system administrators and computer laboratory technicians.

 

“Just on the human resources level alone, it is estimated that the cost to address the shortfall is approximated $6 billion,” Mr. Samuda told the House.

 

He said that the audit also revealed significant infrastructure deficiencies in schools, some of which need to be addressed immediately, and a shortage of equipment such as desk top and laptop computers, printers and copiers.

 

“Together, this is estimated to cost over $13. 5 billion. This makes a grand total of $20 billion that is required to cover the needs of the Ministry of Education,” Mr. Samuda said.

 

He noted that the Ministry has developed an infrastructure plan, tailored to the budget that was approved by the House in March of this year.

 

“We have taken steps to ensure that all activities in this area are strictly monitored and comply with all the regulations. Strict adherence to procurement guidelines has been reinforced. No officer will be allowed to breach the guidelines,” Mr. Samuda said.

 

In addition, the Ministry has implemented a bi-monthly meeting to monitor infrastructure projects to ensure adherence to the procurement guidelines.

 

CAPTION: Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, emphasises a point while addressing the House of Representatives on July 31.