(By Robertson S. Henry) – Heads of Department within St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Ministry of Education and National Reconciliation, have been placed on notice by the new Minister of Education that “I am not an office type minister, but one who will be on the ground, checking in from time to time.”
Debating the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, Honourable Curtis King – Minister of Education and National Reconciliation pointed out that the 2021 Estimates, and the soon to be followed Budget, are being laid in the House of Assembly, “when the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic. At this time, we are also confronted with the Dengue Fever and the La Soufriere volcano effusive eruption.
“These are indeed challenging times for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but we must not be daunted. Instead, we should be willing to confront these challenges with optimism, with the aim of turning any crisis into opportunities for progress.”
Minister King further stated: “Our investment in education is a testimony of the government’s commitment to develop the human resource capacity in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
The Ministry fo Education and National Reconciliation has been allocated EC$138,170,358.00 for recurrent expenditure, while for capital projects the amount allocated is EC$30,041,410.00; a total of EC$168,211,768.00, or 13.87-percent of the national budget.
As a functional classification, the expenditure for education has been allocated EC$150,902,418.00 and EC$33,741,410.00 respectively for recurrent estimates and capital estimates; a grand total of EC$184,542,828.oo or 15.2-percent of the overall budget.
According to King, “We continue to maintain the philosophy that education must be for living and production.”
As a result in the coming term, “we promised to further drive the Education Revolution to achieve three central objectives.”
These three objectives are “establishing an even more assuredly well-managed, effective and efficient education system that focuses on enhanced access, quality and relevance, and for living and production.
“Promoting further, the standards of excellence and professionalism, in the delivery of educational programmes and services.
“Promote further greater involvement and opportunities for continuing education throughout adulthood.”
Already laying down his aim not to remain stuck behind a desk, Education Minister King pointed out that he: “he will be working assiduously to closely monitor the performances of the various sectors that fall within the ambits of the ministry, to ensure that we are on target to implement the government’s policies and programmes in a more efficacious manner.”