Jeffrey explains strategy to make education system better By Abigail Kippins
Guyana Chronicle
December 20, 2001

MINISTER of Education, Dr Henry Jeffery said Friday that, although development within is ongoing, the sector cannot be made perfect all at once.

Speaking to the media on the Guyana Television Broadcasting Company (GTV) programme `Answers’, he acknowledged that this country cannot compete with others in the Caribbean region but said its Government has been trying to use resources in creative ways to achieve betterment.

“The entire education system, especially in a developing country, will have to move on a whole scale level and, in some cases, programmes will be customised to suit that country's situation,” he posited.

Jeffery said one of the first things he did when he assumed the portfolio was to develop a stratetgic alliance with the trade unions involved, resulting in what is known as “a decent working relationship”.

The Minister said parents are also important, noting that the Ministry is responsible for educating children while they are at school but parents have to nurture them from birth.

Jeffrey said a parenting education project was recently launched in Region Eight (Potaro/Siparuni) and it will move to other Regions shortly.

He said one area in which the Ministry has begun concentrating is getting children back into schools through the resuscitated truancy campaign, with welfare officers taking into protective care children of school age but not in schools until the reasons for them being truant is determined.

Many schoolchildren have been taken from their homes and off the streets in an effort to ensure they all gain an education and do not become burdens on society, Jeffrey reported.

He said his Ministry also has a plan to deal with the issue of corporal punishment in schools and will take a position on the subject by early next year.

“At the moment, we are very minimalistic on the issue, but, as a country, we must take a position and that will happen by early next year,” the Government Information Agency (GINA) quoted him as saying.

Jeffrey said, with general focus on school management, much more can be gained. “The way we manage the school system and any other businesses or organisations for that matter determines what we get from that system”.

He pointed to developments, which have taken place in education and included the building and rehabilitation of numerous schools, as well as the training of teachers in various areas such as computer science.

Jefftrey assured that those infrastructural improvements and training, too, will continue, as the Government aims to make the sector better.