Ministry of Education, Guyana

Friday, 12 February 2016 13:57

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

Article Index:

PROMISE OF A GOOD LIFE

Mr. Speaker, this is not a system we intend to perpetuate. In its Manifesto, the APNU+AFC coalition clearly identified the creation of “a united, peaceful and developed Guyana” as its core objective.

That objective or any one of its component parts is not achievable in a society which has not benefitted from real education. By that, I mean, education being a state of knowing and learning that engenders the appreciation of human beings, their existence biologically and socially; education that induces rationality to their existence; and education that enables the application of knowledge to themselves and their environment, in a complex relationship of thought, desire and work as a basis for sustenance and self reproduction.

It is the achievement of that state of being, or the continuum towards its achievement, APNU/AFC refers to when it speaks about a Good Life. Education is the driving force, the locomotive engine of that good life, and our primary challenge is crafting a system that engenders education as we conceive it.

The stark reality is that our education system, under the previous administration, failed to grapple with that concern, with focus instead being placed on achievers of certificates at the expense of the education of the citizens.

We enjoin the entire nation to join us in this enterprise of enhancing the education system to address our growth and improvement society over the next fifty years and beyond; Mr. Speaker, we enjoin the Opposition in particular.

The Strategic and Programmatic Perspective
In view of APNU+AFC’s objective oriented approach to the fulfillment of its mandate to govern, and in view of its understanding of the historiography of Guyana; and in the context of its understanding of the role of education, it conceptualized an appropriate approach to education in Guyana. The approach envisaged programmes in as much as it identifies specific strategies for the achievement of its objective: a Good Life for all.

From a programmatic perspective the APNU+AFC concluded that attention to the curricula for the education system is key, since therein would be the knowledge which ought to be shared by Guyanese who would be involved in the project: Creating a Good Life for All. This also takes into consideration that curricula would inevitably address the question of the manner in which learning should occur, thus providing an opportunity for approaches to learning, and the application of knowledge to be inculcated.

APNU+AFC also recognized the plural nature of the Guyanese society and in response to that recognition determined that the University should establish research programmes to investigate the casual factor “of ethnic and racial tensions and conflict in our society” and to “make recommendations on how to address these. Clearly the APNU+AFC’s manifesto provided an unambiguous direction in relation to how the education system should be remedied as well as it identifies the central issues which required attention. These issues include: (1) meeting “the nutritional and transportation needs of primary and secondary schools; retaining and recruiting teachers; reforming the curriculum; equipping the schools for the teaching of ICT-selected subjects; ‘rescuing the University of Guyana’, implementing a national programme for technical and vocational education across the country; and creating a friendly and equitable environment for learning along with extracurricular activities that would enhance all-round development.


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