Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 08 August 2019 11:00

Reg. Nine NGSA top students get ‘push start’

– Minister Allicock spreads ‘free education’ message to hinterland youth

The top performers at this year’s National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) from Region Nine were given a ‘push start’ from the Government of Guyana and corporate entity, Ansa McAl, to assist their pursuit of secondary education.

The top student of the region is Alana Lewis, who scored 515 marks and secured a position at the Bishop’s High school. She was followed by Kateri DaSilva, who scored 504 marks and is heading to the St. Roses High School; Ethan Gursahai with 501 marks and is going to the St. Joseph’s High school; Tikilisha Vanlong, Annai Secondary school; Jayden Spencer, St. Ignatius Secondary; Shawna Smith, Matt James and Osuna La Rose, all heading to the Aishalton Secondary school; and Tianna Gomes and Allnie Rebeiro, both heading to the St. Ignatius Secondary School.

Presenting these students with tokens was Fourth Vice President and Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock. Minister Allicock also highlighted that the 10 top students, alongside three other students from the region, will be receiving scholarship support as they engage in their secondary school 20190813 15

Addressing these students, he congratulated them on the successful completion of one phase of their academic journey and urged them to make use of the opportunities offered to them so that they can continue to excel in the future.

“The government has invested and we will continue to invest in education,” Minister Allicock said, adding: “It is the President’s greatest dream to have an educated nation where each and every person, especially the youth, excelling to the max level.”

The vice-president said that in 2015, the pass rate for the region was 13 per cent but this year, it stands at 45 per cent. Cognisant of that, the minister contended that the children have excelled, as the government knew they would if they were given more resources.

The minister reminded of the government’s 2030 vision for the education system, which will see curriculum reform taking place to enhance the quality of education delivered to all citizens. As part of enhancing the education system, he noted that the Education Ministry is currently focused on enhancing education at secondary and tertiary education by expanding access to these, particularly to bridge the disparities that exist with the hinterland communities.

“That is a tall order and will require support from many stakeholders,” he posited. And in this vein, he told the top achievers that they are the ones who are “setting the pace” for other students, and have to be committed to being the best that they can be to foster growth in the country.

The vice-president also told the gathering of students and parents of the coalition government’s mission to restore free education from nursery to tertiary.

According to Article 27 of the Constitution of Guyana: “Every citizen has the right to free education from nursery to university, as well as at non-formal places where opportunities are provided for education and training.” Currently, there is only free public education from nursery to secondary.

President David Granger, on Emancipation Day, said the coalition government will be working towards restoring free education in accordance with the Constitution.

Minister Allicock gave high praise to the President for making this commitment and said: “That is something that we can all be proud of because it is an opportunity and we should not lose that opportunity.”

He also noted that free education would give hinterland youth, in particular, enhanced access to education opportunities. This is in tandem with the recently commissioned $186M dorms at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, which will cater for hinterland tertiary students.

“The government is working in every single possible area to get you the best possible opportunity to get you to what you want to become,” Minister Allicock said, but said young people have to contribute to the country’s development.

He reminded that with the oil industry coming on stream, there will be a “rapid development” taking place in Guyana. This, according to him, will require a competent and educated workforce since there will be much competition for employment.

Moreover, the minister also encouraged the Region Nine youths to begin thinking of ways to sustainably use the ‘oil money’ to help keep the environment intact.

He lamented that the vast reserves of freshwater, which is a valuable global asset, is one natural resource that ought to be preserved.

Deputy Regional Executive Officer of Region Nine, Audrey Gomes, also gave brief remarks at the awards ceremony. She made known that the next five years of the children’s lives can determine where they go in life and that they should make the best of the opportunities presented to them.


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