Updated: Reduction in education budget will not affect students or teachers badly - ministry
The reduction in the education budget will not affect students or teachers badly, the Education Ministry said.
In a statement this evening replying to a news conference given earlier today by the PL’s spokesman for education, the ministry said that following talks with the Finance Ministry, which were held regularly, it could guarantee that student services would not be affected by the reduction and teachers could put their mind at rest that they would be getting wages and all their dues.
Mr Bartolo said that the Education Ministry’s budget was expected to run out of funds for salaries, school transport and school cleaning by the end of the year.
He recalled that when the national budget was scaled back in January, the Education Minister had claimed that education would not be affected but by March it became known that funds had been reduced by €7 million.
Mr Bartolo said that it had now been calculated that the allocation for salaries and allowances would have a shortfall of between €4m and €5m by the end of the year. There were not even enough funds for the payment of allowances in October, although the Treasury paid the allowances anyway.
He said that a shortfall of €1m was expected for school transport.
The shortfall in the allocation for school cleaning was such that tenders have not been issued and some school cleaning was not being made, he said.
Mr Bartolo said there was a €500,000 shortfall in funding for LSAs in church and independent schools
In its reply, the ministry said that transport would also not be affected and the government would honour its obligations. Learning Support Assistants in church and independent schools would also be paid regularly and the school cleaning service was to be retained.