His Excellency David A. Granger, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana stressed the importance of education to national development today by giving his government’s commitment to ensuring each child attends school.

The President was at the time speaking to students, teachers and staff of the New Amsterdam Secondary (Multilateral) School. Today being ‘Education Day’, the President chose to visit the school to engage the school population along with the Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry. Also in attendance were, the Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson, PTA Representatives of the school, Member of Parliament, Hon. Barbara Pilgrim, the Mayor of New Amsterdam, Ms. Winifred Heywood, the Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Kim Williams-Stephen and other regional officials.news 20190916 1
The President said that an investment in education is an investment in the future. He said that his vision for Guyana is that each child must be able to access education, including the visually and physically challenged.
He said that education is the greatest equalizer in any country. As such, the President noted that the public education sector has received the biggest investment by the government over the last four years totalling $170 billion. He said that this year, the investment in the sector has increased from 14.8% of the national budget to 17% at $52 billion which represents 15% of the 2019 national budget.news 20190916 2
The Head of State noted that while the government wants to see every child in school, there is also the need to have ‘A’ Grade students.
He explained ‘A’ refers to the three ‘A’s, Access, Attendance and Attainment. According to the President, each child must have access to a school, must attend school and must be able to attain higher levels of education.
He added the three ‘A’s inspired the 5 Bs Scheme or the Public Education Transportation Service (PETS) that was launched in 2015 which aims to provide boats, bicycles, buses, breakfast and books to schoolchildren across Guyana. The President said that presently 4000 bicycles are being ridden by students who benefited from the scheme, 29 buses and 14 boats distributed across Guyana taking children to and from school ensuring that they have access and can attend school.news 20190916 3
Further, the President said that over the next decade which is being dubbed ‘The Decade of Development’, his government will be working to ensure that every child is enrolled in schools. He said that the government will be looking to the oil revenues to ensure that among other priorities, finances will be invested into the public education system.
He said that his vision for Guyana is that there are at least 10 schools of excellence, one in each region so that children can get access to first-class education.
The Head of State congratulated the school on its performance at the 2019 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination and handed over a cheque of one million dollars to the school to be used in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas.news 20190916
Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry during her remarks spoke about the educational priorities of the Ministry of Education.
She said that education plays a central role in the growth of any country’s development as it provides in many instances the opportunity for many individuals to improve their lives, become more successful members of society and ultimately better contributors to the nations’ development.
According to Minister Henry, building the country is the responsibility of all Guyanese.
She said, “We in the Ministry of Education are in the habit of listening and dialoguing with our constituencies to ensure that the government’s vision for education is aligned with the aspirations and needs of all those who are on the frontlines in this struggle for quality education.”
Minister Henry noted that the Education Ministry must be agile and responsive to the needs of those being served.news 20190916 5 She said that in recent years the government has given significant investment in education because it is understood that the system that supplies the schools plays a critical role in how a school can perform since that support enables teachers and management to deliver effective teaching and learning.
Congratulated the school for achieving over 90% pass rates at both the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination and CSEC examination. Following the engagement, Minister Henry and the President were given a tour of the school where they visited the science and Information Technology laboratories.