Ministry of Education, Guyana

Several Task groups comprising Ministry and Non-Ministry personnel were appointed to analyse and recommend options to meet the challenges identified during the consultations and the review of the current plan. As a result detailed action plans have been prepared or are being prepared for some of the major components of the plan. The components include Literacy and Numeracy, Teacher Training, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Science and Technology, Information and Communication Technology, Special Education Needs, School Health, Nutrition and Life skills Education and Physical Infrastructure Component. The section below summarises the proposed strategies to deal with each key issue.

More than ever before governments and development agencies are accountable for what they do and the services they provide. It is therefore necessary to have better measurements and accurate appraisals of the implementation of programmes.

In general, it is recognised that the Ministry needs to have a stronger structure at both central and regional levels if it hopes eventually to become truly inclusive. SEN personnel will be a part of a new Unit which will look at School Health, Nutrition, and HIV/AIDS Education. The Ministry is also actively seeking scholarships to train teacher educators, curriculum personnel and measurement and evaluation specialists in this area.

In addition to its focus on the technical and vocational institutions, the plan for TVET has close links to Universal Secondary Education. Some activities have been rolled over from the 2003-2007 plan but emphasis will be given to current national priorities. The key objectives are to:

The major objective is to increase the proportion of trained teachers in the system to 70% by 2013 and to upgrade the knowledge of teachers in their specialised areas at the secondary level. This would mean training an additional 1818 teachers at an average of 364 per year over the next five years. Several policy decisions have been taken:

Appropriate activities in science and technology will be introduced to students from the earliest levels. However, the Ministry will give special emphasis in this plan to improving the number and quality of science and technology graduates from the secondary level and thereby increase the number entering these fields at post secondary level. The following actions will be undertaken:

The use of ICT is regarded as a cross - cutting strategy for greater efficiency in Central Ministry, Education Departments and schools. It has also been highlighted as a major supportive tool in the teaching learning process at all levels of the system. Summarised below are the objectives and activities in this area.

This objective has been one of the priorities of the Government of Guyana and MOE during the last period. The country has been able to achieve what amounts to full coverage at the nursery and primary levels but secondary education only covers 78% of the relevant age cohort. The report on USE has recommended several actions considered strategic, which will be adopted in this plan.

Among the most pressing issues affecting people in Guyana is HIV and AIDS. The Ministry of Education has therefore taken the decision to position HIV prevention within the context of an holistic programme of school health and nutrition activities and it sees the education sector as having a vital role to play in the country’s response to the epidemic. During the last five years the main vehicle for implementing the education component of the HIV and AIDS programme in schools has been through the Health and Family Life Education Programme (HFLE). Recent evaluation of this programme highlighted the need for additional training and effective monitoring of the teachers trained to deliver the programme.

Focus will be on:

Improvement of Physical Facilities/Infrastructure

Children are likely to learn better when in safe, comfortable buildings with sufficient space and adequate facilities. Good physical facilities also affect parents’ attitude to the school and teachers’ morale in a positive manner. Improving physical facilities is therefore a key factor in improving education delivery.

Early Childhood Education

The Ministry proposes to have nearly full coverage (over 90%) at the Pre-school level by 2013. An additional 20% of the 3 to 5 age cohort will be attending Pre-School/ Nursery. To accommodate the increased numbers and to provide purpose built structures in some communities 8 new discrete nursery schools will be built, 20 primary schools will be extended to accommodate nursery classes and 46 classes will be established in primary schools that have space during the five year period. Special attention will be paid to those communities where enrolment at this level is low.

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