Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter
Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites is once again imploring schools to make do with the little resources they have been given.
Speaking during a press conference yesterday to update the nation on the ministry's back-to-school preparations, Thwaites said all public schools across the island have now got their subventions and are on course to open without trouble.
He said $2.7 billion has been disbursed to the schools across the island. However, alluding to the fact that the funds might not necessarily be enough, Thwaites said the decision was made based on the current economic climate, and as a result, school leaders must practise fiscal prudence.
"During this time of economic austerity and where public expenditure is governed by our covenant with the International Monetary Fund, all Jamaica - and we in the education system - needs to appreciate how tight cash is," Thwaites said.
STICKING TO BUDGET
He added that schools would now have to do more with what they currently have and cut out the wasting of scarce resources.
"All of the advances and improvements in the education system have to be done within the existing Budget, and some of the inevitable rubs and bruises, which take place when you are making fundamental changes to a system with a long beard, must be carried out as gently as possible, but as resolutely," Thwaites noted.
Although less than two weeks ago the minister said schools would have to forgo any new furniture at the start of the school year, yesterday he announced that some 16,000 pieces of new furniture would be delivered to schools by the end of this month.
In addition, Thwaites said schools have been commissioned to repair pieces in their existing stock from their own accounts.
He said the quantity being distributed to schools this year is a significant increase over last year.