Education Minister Dr Rupert Roopnaraine yesterday said Cabinet is considering the demands of those protesting against the placement of VAT on private tuition fees and a meeting will soon be scheduled with the Guyana Private Schools United to address the matter.
Roopnaraine made the disclosure yesterday during the opening of a newly-constructed building on the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen campus.
“I want to schedule the meeting as quickly as possible. When I get back to the ministry, I’ll see what’s the schedule and I’ll try to get a consultation with them as quickly as possible. I’ve seen their approach, we’re going to look at it — I mean we want to ensure that the private schools are able to do what they need to do,” Roopnaraine stated.
The Guyana Private Schools United, made up of ten local private educational institutions, was formed recently so stakeholders could collectively take a stand against the government’s decision to implement a tax on private tuition fees.
The group first protested last Thursday in front of the Ministry of Finance, and then this past Wednesday, in front of the Ministry of Education on Brickdam.
It was related on Wednesday that the Guyana Private Schools United had sent correspondence to the ministries of Education and Finance, as well as to the President and Prime Minister’s offices to request a meeting. While it was told it would be accommodated, it had not yet received any word on when.
Private education became subject to VAT on February 1 as a measure of the 2017 national budget.
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan said earlier this month that only private schools which earn more than $15 million a year and are registered for VAT will be expected to charge the tax, which is not being applied to education or educational supplies, but to tuition fees.