–in keeping with mandate of ensuring quality education for all

Guyana on Thursday came one step closer to meeting its obligations where ensuring universal education for all is concerned when it commissioned not just one, but two new nursery schools.

The schools at reference are the Smyth Street Nursery School on the St. Phillips Green, and the Carmelita Nursery School in sub-urban Werk-en-Rust and Campbellville respectively.

One of the pillars of the 17 UN-led Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education, and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

According to the UN, obtaining a quality education is the foundation to creating sustainable development. “In addition to improving quality of life, access to inclusive education can help equip locals with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems.”news 20181203 6

As Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry observed during the commissioning of the Smyth Street school:
“Another milestone has been marked in the history of Guyana’s education sector.
“I trust that, within these walls, we will go on to produce students who will reach their full potential.”

She said she was confident that both facilities will provide the type of environment that is conducive to both children and their teachers alike, as she is well aware of the relationship between physical space and learning.

“The Ministry of Education and the Government of Guyana understand that a building alone cannot infuse the vision and passion that guide schools and the development of young people,” she said. “It is the human spirit of interaction, and all stakeholders will make a difference.”

Underscoring that education is a lifelong pursuit, particularly given the rapid developments taking place in the field of science and technology, Dr. Henry said:

“Our education sector, just as is happening in many other jurisdictions, has been undergoing wide-ranging reforms, from nursery to tertiary.
“I am confident that through collaboration, we can make the reform journey a successful one.”news 20181203 7

Chief Education Officer (CEO) Marcel Hutson touched on the child-friendliness of both schools, which he said is in keeping with a global movement that encourages schools to operate in the best interest of children.

“I believe we have the facilities here, and we must now have the other things that will go along with a school that is child-friendly,” he said.
“Child-friendly schools not only help children realise the right to basic education, but also provide quality education experiences by being child-focused and child-centered,” he added.

Noting that such environments promote the concept of inclusion, thereby equiping children with the capacity to learn, Hutson said what happens in school goes beyond structure and staff; that what is important is what the school produces.

“We need to work with our children to the point where they will be excellent; and this is what every school must foster,” Hutson said. “We want our children to be literate and numerate, even at the nursery level,” he added.

He explained that a nursery school should not be considered a day-care centre where children are dropped off and picked up; that rather nursery education must be treated as the building block to primary and secondary education.

In closing, he said: “It is incumbent upon us that we care the facilities; the student coming after must walk into the facility that is conducive to learning.
“And therefore it is important that as teachers, as parents, as stakeholders we treat this building with respect, because we want it to last.”