Ministry of Education, Guyana

Priorities for the 2014-2018 Education Sector Plan (ESP)

In designing the Education Sector Plan (ESP) for 2014-2018, a wide variety of stakeholders both within and outside of the Ministry of Education (MoE) was consulted.

As a result, this ESP focuses on increasing the learning achievements at all levels of education and for all sub-groups and decreasing the differences in learning outcomes between sub-groups, especially between students in coastal and hinterland schools. The learning outcomes of primary concern are literacy and numeracy, followed by science and technology.

The deficiencies at all levels and for all sub-groups are weak learning outcomes, especially in English and Mathematics for coastal students and in all subjects for students in the hinterland. Although enrollment rates cannot be credibly estimated until the new census data on the size of the population by age have been released, Guyana seems to have achieved respectable rates at the different levels of education except for two sub-groups: at risk and vulnerable children and special education needs children. The first priority for these two sub-groups is to bring them into school and to help them stay in school. However, once in school, the focus even for these two sub-groups will be to maximize their learning achievements.

The Education Sector Plan has these two priorities for 2014-2018 because all those managing successful change in private and public organizations stress how important it is to establish a clear FOCUS. The lessons learnt in Guyana also imply that, if we are to see significant improvement, the strategy must be protected from becoming overloaded, fragmented, and unmanageable. As a result of inclusive consultations, different stakeholders may expect the ESP to place a priority on their specific concerns. However, the Ministry feels that it has selected the priority issues identified by the majority of stakeholders. A focus on improving learning outcomes and reducing sub-group differences in learning reflects the interests of all groups at all education levels.

A strategy depends on the capacities of those organizations and groups responsible for implementing it. It is in this context that a proper organizational audit of key units in Guyana’s education sector is required to assess the capacity strengths and shortfalls of departments that affect their abilities to implement those activities in the new ESP that will be under their jurisdiction.

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