The Commission of Inquiry which is being conducted into the public education system, was supposed to have been completed by December last, and submitted to the Education Minister, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine. The Minister told
this newspaper on Wednesday that the commission, which was supposed to have been completed four months after it commenced in April last year, would need some more time.
“I’m giving it until the end of March…then we can perhaps expect the findings,” Dr. Roopnaraine said.
After taking up the position as Education Minister following the 2015 General Elections, Dr. Roopnaraine had said that he wanted to get a detailed understanding of the systems and the mechanisms that were put in place by the previous government.
Dr. Roopnaraine is of the belief that a reform of the education system is very much needed, if the country is to produce a brighter and better-rounded crop of citizens. But in order to effectively and comprehensively execute this, a study of the existing system was deemed imperative. The Commission was tasked with reviewing the period – September 2010 through July 2014.
The Minister has often said, “We will keep what works, and what doesn’t work, we will either stop it altogether, or make the necessary adjustments needed for it to work.”
The findings of the COI are expected to set the stage for a number of issues affecting the education system, to be addressed, in an effort to upgrade the Education Strategic Plan. This includes tackling the decline of Mathematics at the level of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) Examinations.
The Commission, which comprises a number of key stakeholder members, is being led by Former Chief Education Officer, Ed Caesar, who is the COI’s Chairman.
Dr. Roopnaraine, during the launching of the COI, had explained that the inquiry is basically “one, a broad, multi-phased strategy framework for national education reform and development; two, reconciliation of findings with existing internal policy operational strategy and external consultancy recommendations; three, contextualisation within the Regional Education and HR Development Strategy 2030 and any other relevant multilateral strategies or policies; four, particular focus on the use of technology in education sector management and service delivery; five, particular focus on Hinterland Education Reform; six, consideration that the Ministry of Education operates within a framework of functional cooperation and areas of inter-lap with several other government entities; and seven, consideration that there is scope for specific functional cooperation on strengthening tolerance with the Ministry of Social Cohesion.”
The Minister feels that the education system in Guyana will require comprehensive and far-reaching reform if the system is going to prove capable of addressing the country’s developmental needs.
Dr. Roopnaraine declined to comment on the findings of the inquiry so far, but noted that the completed document would be fully publicized and open for discussion.