There is a link between spending on education and outcomes

Dear Editor,

It has been reported in the local press that the Ministry of Finance is noting the mixed learning outcomes of Guyanese children particularly the poor performance in math at the National Grade Six Exams. The Ministry’s reported statement also went on to detail the expenditures of the government on public education. The statement as reported was very baffling. Is it that the Ministry is concerned that the government and or we the Guyanese people are not getting a good return on our investment in the education sector? The statement did not say that the Ministry will improve spending on education something that is linked with good learning outcomes (especially well-paid teachers).

I can cite literature on the link between educational outcomes and spending on the education sector (including paying teachers well). Comparisons can also be made between the percentage of the GDP Guyana spends on education and those of other countries. But, I am sure the planners at both the Education and Finance Ministries have those data and literature. Instead the Ministries of Finance and Education (but Finance in particular) should consider this “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance”. This was a saying of my grandfather,  a farmer who did not go to school but ensured some of his 10 children went to school especially high school at a time when the high schools were mainly in Georgetown and not free.

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address supplied)

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