Ministry of Education, Guyana

Friday, 12 February 2016 13:57

2016 National Budget Presentation, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, Honourable Minister of Education

Article Index:

PROJECTIONS FOR 2016

During the period May to December, 2015 a number of areas of concern were identified, and these will be the focus of our agenda in 2016. They include:

  1. The need for psycho-social support programmes for our schools and residential facilities – beyond the glaring fact that suicide disproportionately impacts upon our young people, there is the recognition that is only one of the unfortunate outcomes of poor psychosocial support systems in general.
  2. The need for an approach to the reintegration of teenage mothers into the school system. Young women in the twenty-first century cannot have pregnancy be a barrier to their continued education.
  3. The provision of more opportunities for continuous professional development and the widening of the scope of the Learning Channel and the Ministry’s radio broadcasts.
  4. The expansion of the Skills for Life Training programme generally, with emphasis on the hinterland areas.
  5. The need for accommodation for teachers in the hinterland.

These among other challenges will be confronted in the year 2016 as the Ministry seeks to overcome the challenges and launch new initiatives for the enhancement of the education system, which enhancement would eventually impact the ultimate goal of the system: the production of a better all-round citizen and the creation of a better society.

A number of initiatives are therefore envisaged and provided for in the 2016 Budget in response to the challenges and in pursuit of the objective, which the APNU + AFC Coalition has set for realization by 2020.

Some of the initiatives will unfold at the level of policy formulation while others would have advanced to the level of programmatic engagement.

From a programmatic perspective the Breakfast Initiative will be rolled out in four coastal schools, inclusive of Buxton and Enmore, even as its implementation continues in the Hinterland and expands to cater for 81% of the Hinterland schools with a total expenditure of 1.9B. As a consequence jobs would also be created for approximately 200 persons. Additional boats will also be acquired. Canjie in Region 6 has already been airmarked as the next recipient.

Continuing along the path of enhancing welfare, 30M has been allocated for the acquisition of footwear to be distributed, primarily, in the hinterland schools 31,500 students are slated to benefit from this programme. The introduction of more counsellors into the school system is also to be undertaken and the rotation of social workers across dorm schools introduced.

The Ministry has already embarked on the establishment of a Public Relations Unit which will better inform the public about the ongoing efforts and new initiatives of the Ministry in its quest to improve the education system and ultimately to assure Guyana of a Good Life.

The Ministry is also actively pursuing World Bank funding for a successor project for the University of Guyana. The World Bank has also intimated its preparedness to consider a new project to facilitate a complete curriculum review for the school system.

A Facilities Audit should also be undertaken in 2016. This audit should provide information on the deficits of each and every public education institution with regard to the stipulated standards for these physical facilities. In 2016, some audits were already conducted from the manpower and facilities perspective.

From the perspective of policy, the Ministry will be embarking on quite a few new initiatives. First and foremost amongst those will be a policy in relation to the reintegration of teenage mothers into the school system. Policy initiatives will also be undertaken in relation to how teachers can be recruited and retained, in the hinterland, in this regard data collection is already being done, so that an evidence based policy could be formulated. On the agenda for policy formulation is the issue of the utilization of school facilities for extracurricular activities, with a literacy programme and a technical and vocational programme being uttermost amongst them.

The development of a new appraisal instrument for the appraisal of teachers should also be completed in 2016.

As a management tool and the Ministry’s administrative support mechanism, the Ministry will continue to roll out its NEWDEA data management system, which provides for monitoring the various aspects of the sector’s work. An enhanced Education Management Information System should also come on stream in 2016.


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