Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 08 April 2014 16:27

A Better Life for all Guyanese

Committed to the Continued Development of our Human Capital through Education The Honorable Minister of Education presents to the National Assembly during the 2014 Budget Debates.

minister-priya-manickchandThere can be no sector better than the education sector that can demonstrate tangibly the growth that People’s Progressive Party Civic has recorded over the years that they have been in office.” Those were the words spoken by the Honorable Minister of Education, Ms. Priya Manickchand, as she addressed the National Assembly on Monday afternoon’s budget 2014 debate. Minister Manickchand was at the time setting the foundations for an undisputable exposé into the education investments and achievements made under the two-decade stewardship of the PPP/C government.

Matching Commitment with Investment

In underscoring the government’s continuous commitment to investing strategically in the people of Guyana through the education sector, the Minister stated that: “Last year 40 percent of the Budget was allocated to the social sectors of which 15 percent was spent on educating the nation’s children by giving them the best quality education we have been able to give so far: by providing meals; by helping their parents outfit them for school; on providing trained teachers to put in front of the classrooms; on providing text books and exercise books and the other things that are necessary for children in schools.” This was presented against the backdrop of the dismal 1990 budget with its minuscule allocation to education.  “In 1992, there was five percent of the budget – which was a much smaller budget – allocated towards education. Last year we spent 15.9 percent of our budget on education,” the Minister said.

“Education is the one thing that can see us surely alleviating poverty. We are sure that if we invest in our people through education; then, that would be an investment in Guyana. And, we have matched our commitment by tangible budget allocations.”

  Honorable Minister Manickchand

Tangible Returns on the Investments made in the Education Sector

In her presentation to the House, the Honorable Minister spoke directly to the returns of investments visible in Guyana, as a result of the PPP/C’s unremitting commitment to investing in the education sector. These returns on the investments made are visual by the steady increase in our pass rates at national and regional examinations.

The Minister stated pointedly that: “In 1990 the overall pass rate for students writing 5 subjects and more at the CSEC level - gaining either grades one or two and later on three - was 21 percent. In 1995 with a commitment to the people of this country and the necessary budgetary allocations, we saw a nine percent increase and 29 percent of our children had passed generally. By 2000 it had moved to 46 percent, by 2005 it had moved to 60 percent, and by 2010 it was 66 percent.”

She went on to further posit the indisputable fact that: “With regard to Mathematics, in 1990 we had 16.8 percent of the population passing Math, and by 2000 it increased to 24 percent because we continued to invest in our people and in the sector, and in 2010 it moved to 34 percent. With investment comes growth.”

“With regard to English, in 1990 we had 13.36 percent of the population passing English. By 2000 it was 25.8 percent and by 2010 it was 59.16 percent.”

Room for much improvement

The Minister underscored that even as the PPP/C led government have shown how its vision and prudent stewardship has created growth in all sectors including the education sector, there is still much work to be done.

“We are not happy with where we are, we want to do better,” the Minister said ruefully. “From 2006 to 2013 except for 2010, Guyana has brought home - through her children and because of the investment we have been making in them - the best overall performer for the Region,” she stated. However, the Minister made it pellucid that even as Guyana last year dominated the CSEC exams, copping five of the eight prizes offered by the Caribbean Examinations Council, generally, as a nation she said, we must improve on our pass rates of the core subjects even though they are the best they have ever been in this history of this country.  

The Minister mentioned that the budget comes at a time when the Ministry of Education (MOE) is finalizing its strategic plan 2014–2018; a plan that outlines significant improvements throughout the entire sector.  

“We want to see 80 percent trained teachers in our education system by the end of this plan  period. We want to see at least 50 percent of our children at the Grade Four reading at their level. We want to see universal secondary education,” the Minister said.
A major area of concern currently remains the establishment of partnerships between parents and the school system. The MOE intends to use a variety of innovative communication techniques to bridge the gap between parents and the education sector.

Currently, the Minister mentioned, there are a number of consultations ongoing nationwide that are providing valuable feedback information to be utilized by the Ministry.

The Minister pointed out that very soon the MOE will be launching a very interactive website that will provide a variety of features for students, teachers and parents creating a virtual knowledge sharing environment that will be beneficial to all.

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