Georgetown, Guyana – (September 15, 2017) President David Granger said that his Government will ensure that quality education is delivered across the country, despite the limitations that it faces in terms of budget and population size. “We will improve the delivery of education, the Department of Education System Innovation and Reform [DESIR] is a reality within the Ministry of Education. Innovation will lead to improvement, nothing stands still. There must be more computers in schools, every school must have Wi-Fi and we are working towards that,” the President said in his address at the National Education Rally 2017, which was held, today, at the D’urban Park. In addition, 24 groups and 13 STEM Clubs from the 10 Administrative Regions were presented with the Government of Guyana grants under the Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture, Agriculture, Arts, Anthropology, Mathematics (STEAM) initiative, totalling $50M.
President Granger said that ‘every child in school’ is not a slogan, but a declaration of intent and a commitment on the part of his Government to remove the impediments that hinder access to education. He also called on all stakeholders including parents, teachers and citizens as a whole, to embrace this motto. “We are committed to universal secondary and primary education…Schools and the entire education system, expensive as they are, are not liabilities, they are assets and we will continue to spend because spending money on education is money well-spent,” he said.
The Head of State then explained that the application of information technology will be an important component of education reform in Guyana, as it will facilitate distance education; providing students in outlying communities with the opportunity to access tertiary education without having to leave their homes. The President disclosed that as part of the ongoing reform process, he has visited a number of educational institutions over the past two months, with the view of interacting with both the teachers and students, to listen to their concerns and recommendations; the schools visited were the Cyril Potter College of Education, President’s College, Queen’s College and the Kuru Kuru Training Centre. “This is why we have been able to plan our innovation and reform because our ideas are founded on reality and our ideas are founded on what people need,” he said.
President David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Minister of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry sharing a light moment at one of the booths at Durban Park.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry also spoke of the reforms that her Ministry has embarked on, some of which will start to take root in this current academic year. This process, she said, is being done to review the quality, choice and opportunities available to families all across the country.
“We are focusing on quality education for every child and a good school for every family. This may sound basic, but it is an absolute fundamental to creating an improved education system, helping every child to fulfil their potential and helping to make Guyana a place where anyone who wants to work hard can get ahead. To get there, the Government had to be innovative and therefore schools need to continue to step up to the challenge and very importantly, parents need to do their bit supporting teachers who I know and I am aware are continually working towards the improvement in education delivery,” the Minister said.
Among the major projects that the Ministry embarked on this year is the Education Commission of Inquiry, which allowed officials to garner important feedback on essential matters with the view of strengthening some of the strategies and systems.
The Ministry also launched the Youth Innovation Programme which gives ordinary people the opportunity to propose solutions to challenges, whether it is flooding, overcrowding, school drop-outs, illiteracy, mental health, gender discrimination and reproductive health.
This year, Education Month is being observed under the theme, “Promoting Wellness in Communities through Quality Education”.