Gadsby-Dolly: More $$ to pay primary schoolteachers

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly. – File photo

EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly says part of the $144,200,000 supplementation the ministry is seeking in addition to what it received in the 2023/2024 budget is to pay money owed to primary schoolteachers.

She was addressing the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, which approved this supplementation on June 3.

Couva North MP Ravi Ratiram asked if a figure of $17.5 million within the supplementation would be used to pay teachers’ salaries.

Gadsby-Dolly said it would be used to address a shortfall in funds to pay primary schoolteachers.

“At this time, 95 per cent of all teachers have received their arrears of increments and of the primary section, $230 million has already been expended in that exercise.”

Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes-Alleyne asked if a $15 million allocation in the supplementation would be to pay substitute teachers.

Gadsby-Dolly said this would be used to pay the salaries of data entry staff at the ministry and invigilators and supervisors at the CSEC and CAPE examinations from January-June.

She also estimated the ministry has paid approximately $12.7 million to eight companies to provide security services at schools.

On the school feeding programme, Gadsby-Dolly estimated that approximately $270 million was spent on it between 2022 and 2023.

She said an additional $47 million is being allocated for the National Dietary Services Ltd to cater for the additional cost of meals, which took effect in April.

Gadsby-Dolly added that the number of meals has not been reduced despite this additional cost.