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Jun 8, 2020

Education Programmes Feel the Budget Cut!

Patrick Faber

Education Minister Patrick Faber also spoke on the programmes that are being affected as a result of budget cuts. These initiatives that stand to be affected are text books; school transport; school feeding programme; high school subsidy programme; six CSEC tuition scholarship programme; the six CSEC payment for students for the 2021 sitting of the exams; the open scholarship and the primary school exam top twenty-five scholarships. Here’s how he explains it:


Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“In terms of text books, know that this initiative while we expect to have cuts in this area, we simply will not purchase the kind of purchase we would have done under normal circumstance so we expect that things could operate normally, once we secure those text books and  we minimize the loss at close of school year. In terms of school transportation, we expect cuts in this area as well. However, we intend to sit down with our contractors to work out a way forward and we believe that we will be able to provide uninterrupted school transportation, maybe even increase school transportation if what is determined when we reopen schools dictate that that is needed. But people can be assured that school transportation in our neediest areas will continue. We are also very insistent that the school-feeding programs are kept at normal or even ramped up at the start of the new school year. The high school subsidy programme is going to continue however there is a modified version of this initiative. Traditionally, the allocation for a student subsidy ticket was three hundred dollars. While it is difficult on all fronts to keep this programme going, all agreed in our Ministry and also in the Cabinet that the programme must continue however we do need to make an adjustment. So, the programme will now see all these students who are moving on as I outlined previously from primary to secondary school will now receive two hundred dollars – that is a reduction of a hundred dollars. Likewise, those students who are being promoted from first to second, as you know, would have received the three hundred dollars in second form they too will continue to receive the subsidy however that amount will be reduced from three hundred to two hundred dollars.  The six CSEC tuition scholarship program, this was offered to students who qualified by basically gaining six passes.  Previous to now, any student who received those passes and made the requirement they would have received their tuition paid to any amount of subjects that they signed up for if they were taking a load which was fifteen credit hours or more, so if the students took thirty credit hours, the Ministry would pay those thirty credit hours. So, now we have a set amount given the budget cuts for the allocation for these scholarships and so now dependent on the number of students who meet the qualification – that lump sum of money will be divided appropriately among those who are qualifying for the scholarship and rather than we pay for the entire tuition load, the lump sum you receive will be paid towards such tuition expenses that you will incur.”


When it comes to the payment for the six CSEC exams, including the local fee for the 2021 sitting, the ministry says they will defer decision on this and update the public at a later time. There will also be a modification of the open scholarship – fifty thousand dollars each to the two top performers of CXC and CAPE. We’ll have more from the state of the education press conference later in the newscast.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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