The education sector expects a massive influx of trained teachers soon and Minister of Education Priya Manickchand says that improvements in under-resourced hinterland regions can be expected.
Manickchand, during an online forum on Monday night, said that “a very small number” of teachers in the hinterland regions are trained. She also acknowledged that these regions are among those with the least resources.
These resource constraints have hampered efforts at improving the quality of education offered to learners there.
“Our results at the end of [National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) or the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) examinations] show that our most vulnerable educational districts are Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine,” Manickchand lamented on Monday.
This situation, however, is expected to change as a larger number of trained teachers are expected in the coming years.
This year, some 4,600 individuals – the largest-ever number of applicants – have applied to the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), Guyana’s teachers’ training college.
This is part of an ambitious goal of ensuring that teachers across the country are fully trained, or are in the process of becoming fully trained by 2024. The main expected outcome of the thrust of training teachers is that better results from children may be garnered, including more individualised teaching.
“You’re going to see better results because of that CPCE expansion,” Manickchand assured the public.
She added, “That’s always been something Guyana has been unable to do.”
The CPCE has shifted to an online mode of delivery and as such, the institution is now able to train more applicants than it could have before. Traditionally, with face-to-face learning, the college was only able to admit a maximum of 535 applicants.
Additionally, the expansion of school feeding programmes, the provision of cash grants and the infusion of more technology into schools are among other initiatives being employed to help improve education in hinterland areas.