Govt working to raise education standards --Jagdeo

by Andrew Richards
Stabroek News
November 8, 1999

The improvement of education standards in Guyana is a key part of the government's plans to take the country into the next millennium, President Bharrat Jagdeo told students of Linden on Friday.

Addressing the gathering, which also included teachers and some parents, the President noted that spending in the education sector increased by 300 percent over the last few years but there was little which reflected any good the additional funds had done.

President Jagdeo lamented the state of affairs at the University of Guyana which, he said, was causing graduates to find it difficult to obtain jobs because employers were concerned about the education standards there.

The $5 billion yearly budget in the education sector would, among other aspects, cater for curriculum reform to come in line with the modern world, President Jagdeo said.

He said that the present school curriculum had been charted during a different era and this must be changed to come to terms with modern technology and the concepts of trade liberalisation and globalisation.

The administration had embarked upon a programme of decentralisation, President Jagdeo said, and in the education sector moves were being made to introduce tertiary education in locations outside Georgetown.

People had to move away from the impression that Georgetown was Guyana, he stated.

The education sector would also focus on teachers' training which would be taken to the outlying areas. The President said this was being done in keeping with the decentralisation programme and would also ease the cost of having to travel and live in Georgetown by those from the hinterland and other far-reaching locations.

In-service teachers' training was also being implemented, he said.

The President said technical/vocational training was being promoted to enhance the skills of those who choose such an area to study.

When the goal is achieved and the standard of education improves, jobs will have to be found to make use of the skills acquired, he said.

The government was aggressively working to promote Guyana on markets in the Caribbean and the wider international scene, the President stated. There was stiff competition from other countries to attract investors, he noted, but this was high on the administration's agenda.

President Jagdeo encouraged youths to become involved in promoting national unity. He said when this was achieved all the peoples of Guyana would have a glorious future.

He told the young men and women that he would be back in Linden in January, where youth conferences would be organised and discussions held on what youth programms would be formulated and implemented.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples