Impressive gains seen in education

By Hydar Ally
Guyana Chronicle
December 16, 2000

WE ARE gradually approaching the festive season of Christmas. This is usually a time of peace and goodwill as we reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend season's greetings to all Guyanese as we seek to consolidate on the achievements we have made over the past years in the field of education.

The education system in Guyana has seen some impressive gains over the past years especially in the area of basic education. Under the Primary Education Improvement Programme, hundreds of new schools have been renovated or built over.

Roughly 80 per cent of all children at the primary level are now accommodated in enhanced teaching/learning environments. At the secondary level, the Ministry is in the process of universalising secondary education, which in effect, means a phasing out of Community High Schools and Primary Tops, thus making it possible for every child leaving the primary school to benefit from quality secondary education.

The Ministry of Education is cognisant of the need to re-align the education system to meet the needs of a changing global environment. In this regard, the Ministry is soon to embark on a review of its operations which will form the basis for a new strategic plan, with emphasis on Information and Communication technology and the use of Distance Education modalities to provide quality education to students in particular in the more inaccessible regions of Guyana.

Emphasis will also be placed on enhanced Management and Supervision of the education delivery system, with particular focus on School-Based Management which seeks to empower and build capacity at the level of the school to improve the quality of education delivery.

The Ministry of Education is committed to providing each and every child with access to quality education. We believe in the right of everyone to education, regardless of gender, race, colour, socio-economic background, physical and other disabilities or geographic location.

Education is an essential prerequisite for individuals to achieve their full potential. It also contributes to a non-exploitative and non-violent society, one that will facilitate the expansion of human capabilities and the enhancement of competitiveness in a knowledge-based global economy.

Education empowers the poor, safeguards the vulnerable, promotes economic growth and social justice, promotes the value of democracy, human rights, citizenship, good governance, tolerance and pluralism and provides moral and spiritual guidance.

In plural societies such as ours, education is essential to safeguard against tendencies to exploit ethnic differences for narrow ends and to sow the seeds of divisiveness and discord.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend sincere thanks to all those who have contributed to the enhancement of education officials, teachers, PTAs, NGOs, representatives of Civil Society and the media.

Special thanks are extended to our teachers who are entrusted with the task of moulding our young minds in ways that are culturally acceptable. I wish you all a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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