Ministry of Education, Guyana

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Wednesday, 22 December 2010 09:24

SCCP making positive impact in stemming school drop-out rate

Education Minister Shaik Baksh has reported that the Secondary Competency Certificate Programme (SCCP) has been making a positive in curbing the drop-out rate at the early grades of secondary school.

Baksh who was at the time addressing scores of graduands at the recent Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC) 44TH graduation exercise said that available data has indicated that the number of school drop-outs this year has been fewer compared to the previous year.

According to the minister, a number of drop-outs have also returned to school to do the programme with the hope of obtaining a certificate that will make them eligible for first level entry jobs.

He pointed out too that there will be changes to the delivery of technical and vocational education with attention being placed on the issuance of learning packages to students to promote open and distance learning.

The changes which are expected to be implemented next year, Baksh noted will go a step further in satisfying his ministry's quest to cater for the varying and individual needs of learners and to prepare them for the world of work.

The move is in keeping with the ministry's vision of creating an alternative pathway for students who are not desirous of pursing the academic subjects. He said that Guyana has been leading the way in the introduction and implementation of pre-vocational programmes in the Caribbean as it seeks to build an education system that responds to its developmental needs.

The programme which aims to stem school drop-outs is being offered at 35 secondary schools at Grade Nine and several practical instructional centres in Georgetown. It is part of the wider trust of the ministry to develop in students technical competencies and mastery of literacy and numeracy skills at Grade Nine; sound citizenship, life and vocational skills to support national development; an exposure to modularised and vocational career education with emphasis on supervised work experience, work attachments and/or work related projects; good occupational, environmental health and safety practices in schools; and problem solving and creative thinking skills through project work.

The Ministry of Education has revised the TVET curriculum to make it more relevant to the world of work and Baksh pointed out that monies have been made available through a $US9.6M Canadian Development Bank funded project to facilitate the construction of technical and vocational institutions at Leonora in Region Three and Park Mahaicony, Region Five that was signed in March this year.

He also disclosed that the Carnegie School of Home Economics will be upgraded to a hospitality institute and a study is being done by a consultant to map the way forward.

The goal, the minister stressed is to enhance relevance and quality of the programmes offered by the school through both internal and external examinations of its standards.

He noted too that the SCCP Unit and the TVET Council have already completed the groundwork for to become a CARICOM Vocational Education (CVQ) certifying member next year.

Recognition by CARICOM will enable the unhindered movement of local artisans and other skilled persons in the region through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy CSME).

The Ministry of Education is also expected to introduce an entrepreneurship programme at secondary schools and technical institutions next year to better prepare students for the world of work on completion of their studies.

Greater emphasis is also being place on the development of Information Technology in the school system to enable Students to bridge to digital divide.

Minister Baksh stressed that these investments by the government are geared to prepare young people to realise their full potential and make a meaningful contribution towards the development of their country.

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