Education received major increase in new budget
The government’s 2019/2020 budget allocations for the Ministry of Education’s recurrent expenditure will see a significant increase of nearly $17.3 million compared to the previous year.
In the budget, the allocation for the ministry went from $92,664,162 to $109,992,363 for the upcoming fiscal year.
This amount does not include funds allocated for the ministry’s capital works.
The government has budgeted $45,987,000 to the ministry, which represents 20 percent of its overall capital expenditure.
This is also a significant increase compared to the allocations for the 2018/2019 budget, where the ministry received $33.1 million – a difference of $12.9 million.
According to the budget, $24.4 million of the ministry’s capital expenditure will be used to fund the construction of schools.
Additionally, the government will allocate another $29.7 million in 2020/2021 and $30.6 million in 2021/2022 towards the construction of schools.
As he presented the budget statement last week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the government will introduce several initiatives to enhance education and training in the country.
“This year, the budget provides funding to substantially expand the government’s commitment both to pre-school and tertiary education,” Turnquest said.
“Collectively, an additional $20 million has been allocated in this budget to these related initiatives.
“In addition to the $20 million we have allocated to education and training in the budget, we are commencing the first phase of a $9.3 million dollar project to enhance BTVI (the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute), with an emphasis on upgrading infrastructure.”
Turnquest added that the government’s commitment was not only to create more educational opportunities, but also to dedicate resources to the upkeep and development of both new and existing institutions.
“Starting with the $2.7 million allocated for this budget year, the BTVI Enhancement Project will be centered on the upgrade of the current BTVI campus, with a particular focus on developments related to information technology,” he continued.
“Investing in our youth is critical to the advancement of this nation, and we will see to it that we continue to pour into them accordingly.”
While the allocation for the Department of Education went up by over $9 million in the 2018/2019 budget, the government will decrease the upcoming budget by nearly $3.4.
The department will receive $202,205,897, compared to the $205,632,146 in 2018/2019.