Local August 17, 2012 | 8:23 am

Medina: 4% for education a priority

Santo Domingo.-President Danilo Medina says that the elimination of illiteracy from thecountry will be a main priority for his administration.

In his inaugural speech after beingsworn in as president of the republic yesterday, he said he would makeeducation and job creation the basic pillars of his government’s economic andsocial policies.

“One of our first actions as agovernment will be to declare the elimination of illiteracy as a high nationalpriority”.

With this in mind he informed thatnext year he would announce a grand mobilization plan, so that the countrycould obtain international recognition from UNESCO within two years.

He said that as of 2013 theDominican Republic will invest an annual 4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP,or PIB in Spanish) in order to build an inclusive, quality educational system,aimed at building a new citizenry.

He stated that in the first year thegovernment would build 10,000 new classrooms, and at least 18,000 more in thenext four years.

He said that this year schools wouldimplement the extended school day and he expects that by 2016 at least 80% of pre-schooland primary students would be included in the eight-hour school day program.

Over the new few weeks, the Medinagovernment will start the process of restructuring the Ministry of Education,with the aim of decentralizing functions that are not at the center of itsmission, such as building, food, and social protection, as a way of makingmanagement less concentrated and bringing decisions and resources closer to theactual schools.

He said that building contractswould be allocated with total transparency and with strict adherence to thepurchasing and contracting rules.

The participation of builders in themunicipalities and provinces where the school is to be built will beencouraged, said the president.

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