Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, has reiterated his commitment to restructuring the education budget in an effort to ensure that there is equity across the sector, particularly as it relates to early childhood education.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices on
December 12, Mr. Thwaites said that at present, early childhood education only receives three per cent of the budget.
“The way the budget is divided, roughly 40 per cent (goes) to primary (education), 40 per cent to secondary (education), 17 per cent to tertiary and three per cent to early childhood and special education,” he informed.
He noted that a restructuring of the budget is therefore essential in order to “right the injustice”, which has been meted out against the early childhood sector.
According to the Education Minister, early childhood education has been treated as the “Cinderella of the education system”, pointing out that this must change for the sake of the nation’s children and teachers.
He said that early childhood teachers are often poorly paid, regardless of their qualifications. “Even a qualified early childhood teacher gets lesser pay than a similarly qualified teacher in another level of the system,” he remarked. “This is patently unjust.”
The Education Minister gave his commitment that going forward he would be working assiduously to “right these wrongs”.