– citizens express restored confidence in the public school system
– $172Billion invested in education in 4 years
Guyanese are expressing their restored and increasing confidence in the public-school system.
Some Essequibo Coast parents whose children were awarded places at ‘top schools’ in Georgetown following the recent National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) examinations will allow their children to pursue their secondary education at public schools within the region, demonstrating their renewed confidence in the quality public education available in their communities.
This is a testimony to the public education system’s increased effectiveness over the last few years.
Sharing anecdotes of his public schooling in Bartica, Corentyne and Georgetown, His Excellency, President David Granger remarked that it was the sound public education provided to him that ‘prepared him well for Presidency’.
“Education is important for every facet of life, for me and for my government,” the Head of State said.
He cited his own public education as one which provided exposure to varying cultures, religions, peoples among other things, adding that the sort of exposure available in public schools is second to none.
The president explained that the basis of equality in any nation is its education policy and programmes. This lies in his firm belief in an egalitarian society – a society based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
In his view, in accessing education there should be no distinction between coastal and hinterland education, no distinction between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’, the distinction between race and gender must be erased to allow every citizen an equal opportunity to the best education possible.
“I think Education is a great equaliser. I am very confident that if all Guyanese were exposed to the same quality education, we’d have a happier society, happy households, happy communities. Above everything else, I think Education guarantees equality,” President Granger explained.
The president expressed the view that education is vital to the growth and sustenance of Guyana’s economy. He stressed that it is also important for employment in the public or private sector and even for self-employment in the increasingly competitive world.
“I think educated nations and educated people will stand a better chance to reach prosperity to have a good life.”
Having an increased number of educated citizens, he said, means that there will be an opportunity for technological development and industrial progress.
One of the functions of the public education system is to provide access to quality education countrywide, a function which has been restored in recent years as the Ministry of Education continues to take deliberate action to ensure that all learners receive every tool necessary to gain a sound education that will promote lifelong learning.
“My vision is simply a completely educated nation,” he noted
The president further said that his motto is ‘every child in school’. This means providing the means for every child to get to school and to stay in school. To this end, the government has rolled out scores of initiatives to improve access to education countywide.
One of the well-known projects piloted over their 4-year term was the introduction of what is known as the 5B’s Programme. Through this initiative, children living in vulnerable communities, riverain and hinterland areas or far from their schools now benefit from the provision of buses, boats, bicycles, books and breakfast all free of charge. This initiative was rolled out in all ten administrative regions and has entirely transformed children’s access to education.
There are now 30 odd buses, 12 boats, 1200 bicycles available while thousands of children benefit from free meals at school. In fact, parents have been calling for more boats and buses because there has been overwhelming support for the initiative.
President Granger also strongly believes in the ‘3 A’s-‘ which are Access, Attendance and Achievement. It is his view that once given access to education; students will improve their attendance at school, which in turn will boost their academic achievements.
In this regard, the Ministry of Education has been making strides aligned with the president’s vision to transform Guyana into an education nation. Over the last four years, $172Billion has been allocated to the education sector representing the single most substantial investment in the lives of Guyanese.