MINISTER of Finance Colm Imbert announced that $50 million each will be spent on expanding the GATE programme and a structured remedial education programme to help students affected by the covid19 pandemic.
In his budget presentation on Monday, Imbert said, “As announced by the Honourable Prime Minister, we are introducing a structured remedial education programme to assist those students who have fallen behind because of covid19 to recover and catch up with their learning.
“An allocation of $50 millon for this purpose has been made in this budget.”
On the expansion of the GATE programme, Imbert said, “After careful consideration therefore we have decided to adjust the criteria for accessing GATE to permit students in good standing, enrolled in institutions and programmes accredited by the Accreditation Council of TT, to qualify for GATE if they have completed an initial programme of study such as a diploma or associate degree or the N1 level at UWI, and wish to upgrade to a bachelor’s degree.”
Imbert said students doing technical vocational education and training (TVET), who have already accessed GATE for lower level TVET qualifications, will now qualify for GATE for level four and level five programmes that lead to an advanced diploma or bachelor’s degree.
“We are ensuring that GATE remains as inclusive and all-encompassing as it was originally designed (to be), within the constraints of expenditure,” Imbert said.
This will cost the Government an additional $50 million.
“Students who have accessed GATE to do an associate degree or diploma (who) will now be allowed to access GATE again to complete a bachelor’s degree (are) estimated to cost the Government an additional $50 millon. But we believe it is necessary.”