Key programmes continue despite $9m cut in education spending
The education budget has been cut by more than $9 million – but the minister yesterday vowed major services would still be funded.
Diallo Rabain said: “Although this figure may seem large, it is important to note that all primary programmes and services will continue to be funded.”
Mr Rabain added: “The ministry has been careful in its efficiency exercise not to sacrifice the delivery of critical programmes with reduced spending.
“We have been very intentional and focused on continuing the delivery of services and programmes that support the education of our children and adults.”
Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, set Education’s budget at $128.1 million in last Friday’s blueprint for the new financial year – $9.35 million down on the revised estimate for 2020/21.
Mr Rabain, flanked by Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, was speaking as he outlined the ministry’s work for the new financial year.
Mr Rabain said that $5 million would be saved by defunding vacant posts.
Another $3 million was put down to salary reductions from a 10 per cent public sector pay cut, which is scheduled to end this year.
Mr Rabain said the rest of the cash would be saved by “operational efficiencies”.
He said that the ministry planned to continue the Bermuda College “College Promise” programme to allow public school graduates to attend the college tuition-free.
Mr Rabain added that services developed to adjust to the pandemic, such as virtual programmes and curbside assistance at libraries, will also be continued.
He said that the ministry’s plan for education reform would continue and include initiatives such as reviewing their curriculum and and the introduction of foreign languages at the preschool level.