Former Education Minister under the People’s Progressive Party government, Priya Manickchand on Thursday lobbied the government to immediately table the Education Bill in the National Assembly.
The Former Minister also pressed the government to immediately offer salary increases to teachers, as was promised during its 2015 elections campaign.
Manickchand said the PPP was preparing to bring the Education Bill to the House just before the 2015 elections and signaled that it was long overdue. She was adamant that the Bill should be laid soonest to add better structure in education in Guyana while ensuring that teachers are better.
“If you can’t give the teachers the increases that you promised then give them the duty-free concessions they earned under the previous government,” she said.
Manickchand described the coalition government’s 2016 fiscal plan as “stagnation budget”. She told the National Assembly on Thursday that there was nothing fresh about budget 2016 and trashed remarks by government MPs who lamented the start of a new approach of governance.
“How could it be a fresh approach when everything in budget is a repetition of PPP policies and programs?” she questioned.
“This is stagnant, stagnant. It is talking about things we did two years ago,” the PPP MP added.
Ms. Manickchand said since it is obvious that the APNU+AFC took from PPP vision, the allocation for education in the budget was easy to support.
She however, admitted that there were variations to these policies and programs and she spoke of and urged the restoration of the $10,000 cash grant for students in public schools.
The former Minister lamented that while the coalition might have copied, they also copied wrong since several policies and programs were different.
“In 2016, had we been in office we would have been coming with new things, but you come in 2016 and bring items from 2014. Stagnation, a stagnation budget,” she added.
Manickchand told the government MPs that it is necessary too that they innovate and come up with ideas that will compliment what the PPP has already done. She said she believed the government was only concerned with making themselves comfortable while neglecting persons who depend on them.