EDUCATION will continue to be given emphasis as the supply of a knowledgeable, skilled and creative human resource remains a top priority to sustain a competitive advantage over other economies.
Towards this end, more schools, better facilities and increased tertiary level courses will be offered.
A total of 4,500 additional pre-school centres are expected to be built catering to some 112,500 more children by 2005.
Presently, enrolment at public pre-schools stands at 323,220 or 19.1% of children in the four to six age cohort, compared with 271,596 or 16.9% in 2000.
At the primary school level, the number of students enrolled increased from 2.9 million to three million. It is expected to increase to 3.04 million in 2005.
In line with this, 1,445 additional classrooms are expected to be built to accommodate the increase and provide for a better learning environment.
Enrolment in secondary schools also charted an increase, from two million in 2000 to 2.1 million this year.
The increase includes the number of students in secondary technical schools from 60,425 to 76.630.
The improved enrolment was due mainly to a better transition rate from the primary to the secondary level, which increased from 88.6% to 89.4%.
Secondary school enrolment is expected to further increase to 2.11 million by 2005, with 3,965 more classrooms and 132 new schools expected to be built to accommodate the increase.
To increase access to education among rural folk, the Government plans to implement the centralised school concept in 19 schools to accommodate 4,820 students. A total of 203 school hostels will be built for 40,600 students.
The programme to teach Mathematics and Science in English will also continue. In this regard, 190,000 teachers will be trained, of which 25% will be for primary schools.
By 2005, 112,500 computers will be supplied to 70,000 primary and 42,000 secondary school teachers to aid in the teaching of the subjects.
Computer aided teaching and learning, will be further strengthened with the completion of 5,096 computer laboratories by 2005.
A total of 6,464 or 84% or primary and 1,616 or 80% of secondary schools will be equipped with computer infrastructure by that time.
In the Government's move to have more graduate teachers, private institutions of higher learning will be encouraged to offer pre-service teacher training programmes to complement efforts by public varsities and teacher training colleges.
By 2005, 30,000 or 16% of primary and 125,670 or 75% of secondary school teachers will be graduates.