YEREVAN, October 30. / ARKA /. Armenia’s draft budget for next year has earmarked 122.170 billion drams for education, by 14 billion drams more than for the outgoing year, deputy finance minister Pavel Safarian told a parliament discussion today on the budget.
According to him, the projected figure will make 2.59 percent of the projected GDP, up from 2.38 percent in 2013 GDP.
Education and science minister Armen Ashotyan said a sustainable school feeding program will be launched next year for low-grade schoolchildren. Another program will support financially some 1,400 university students from vulnerable families. The education budget will allocate 400 and 90 million drams respectively for each program.
Ashotyan said more funds are earmarked for next year to buy textbooks, especially for high-grade students. More funds will be allocated also for the development of vocational education.
From September 1, 2014 Armenia will shift to 12- year education system, which also includes vocational training. This means that 4,500 children, who will have completed the 9th grade, will receive government funding for continuing education at colleges or technical schools.
The government plans to collect next year 1. 134 trillion drams in revenue and spend 1.244 trillion drams. The projected deficit is 110 billion drams. The GDP is projected to grow by 5.2 % and the 12-month inflation rate is planned at 4 % (± 1.5%) ($ 1 - 405.76 drams). -0-