Budget 2020-21

Education Ministry content with budget allocation

July 18, 2020 12:35 pm

Minister for Education Rosy Akbar. [File Photo]

The Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts has been allocated $450.6m in the 2020/2021 national budget, a decrease of $17.1m from last year’s allocation.

Education Minister Rosy Akbar says she is happy with the budget given to her Ministry taking into account the impact of COVID-19 facing thousands of Fijians today.

Akbar says her Ministry is responsible for building a knowledge-based society by ensuring that our young people have equitable access to high-quality education at all levels.

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“First of all I am very happy that my teachers will not go through any pay cut and I’m sure they are happy. I think the job ahead of us is going to be a challenging one and our focus would on finding efficiency within the budget we’ve been given without compromising the quality of education.”

Akbar says the education budget is focused and targeted to the needs of the education sector.

“I am pleased that we will still continue with our subsidized transportation will still be going with the free textbooks and there has been a slight reduction in the grant. All in all, I’m very happy and I would like to encourage all the teachers and all those that work for the Ministry of Education to stay focused.”

The Economy Minister in his budget address last night reveals that they’re making some policy changes to raise the qualifying standards for students and lower costs.

Students who earn marks above 250 on their Year 13 exams will qualify for the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme.

The government is also lowering TELS and Topper’s Scholarships available, along with some other belt-tightening measures.

However, to grant flexibility to those still paying back loans, TELS repayments will be suspended another year, until 31 December 2021.