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Time to review GATE funding requirements, says Opposition MP

Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for St Au­gus­tine and Shad­ow Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter for the Op­po­si­tion, Khadi­jah Ameen, is call­ing on the Gov­ern­ment to re­view the GATE pol­i­cy, with a view to re­build­ing the na­tion­al econ­o­my.

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Ac­cord­ing to the MP, it is time to take an­oth­er look at the re­quire­ments for young peo­ple to be able “to study and train in ar­eas that can help the econ­o­my grow, de­vel­op and come out of the eco­nom­ic and so­cial down­turn brought on by the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic.”

Stat­ing her com­mit­ment and will­ing­ness to work with all key stake­hold­ers in­volved, MP Ameen pledged her sup­port for the de­vel­op­ment and ed­u­ca­tion of young per­sons in all fields of en­deav­our, in an of­fi­cial state­ment re­leased ear­li­er to­day.

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She cit­ed new re­search from UN­ESCO’s Glob­al Ed­u­ca­tion Mon­i­tor­ing (GEM)Re­port, which not­ed:

“Gov­ern­ments in low­er and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries must re­sist pres­sures to cut their bud­get for ed­u­ca­tion be­cause of the dif­fi­cult fis­cal en­vi­ron­ment. In­vest­ment for schools and learn­ers must be main­tained and if pos­si­ble in­creased. Gov­ern­ment must al­so di­rect parts of their ed­u­ca­tion bud­get to the most mar­gin­al­ized re­gions and schools.”

The shad­ow ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter ob­served:

“It is a known rec­om­men­da­tion that when­ev­er a coun­try is in a pe­ri­od of slump and slow eco­nom­ic ac­tiv­i­ty, it is the best time to in­vest in ed­u­ca­tion. When eco­nom­ic ac­tiv­i­ty picks up, then the new grad­u­ates will be able to quick­ly fill new po­si­tions pop­ping up. Ad­di­tion­al­ly, at this time, gov­ern­ment should great­ly con­sid­er in­vest­ing in ed­u­ca­tion, es­pe­cial­ly in sec­tors that can help di­ver­si­fy the econ­o­my.”

She fur­ther ad­vised the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion and gov­ern­ment that if the GATE pol­i­cy is re­viewed to re­move some of its re­quire­ments, there would be greater in­ter­est for young peo­ple and any­one de­sirous of pur­su­ing stud­ies in need­ed ar­eas.

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“In or­der to boost the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor and in turn boost the econ­o­my, gov­ern­ment should hold con­sul­ta­tions with all stake­hold­ers to de­ter­mine what are ar­eas in need of more in­vest­ment for stud­ies,” the MP stat­ed.

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MP Ameen re­vealed that over the past year, since be­com­ing the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for St. Au­gus­tine, many young per­sons had reached out to her beg­ging for some form of as­sis­tance to get GATE fund­ing—or any form of as­sis­tance—to be able to un­der­take stud­ies.

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“In many cas­es some per­sons men­tioned that even though their in­comes were over the lim­it, they were still un­able to af­ford to pay for their stud­ies due to oth­er fi­nan­cial pres­sures and com­mit­ments be­ing faced at the time,” she not­ed.

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