Education sector to get US$50M BEAM support
Guyana Chronicle
January 15, 2002

A NEW US$50M education developmental programme should get under way later this year when negotiations with international financial institutions are concluded, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Hydar Ally says.

The programme will be referred to as the Basic Education Access and Management Support Project (BEAMS) and will address major aspects of the education system, including school performance, organisational and human resources and infrastructure.

Under the school performance component, it is proposed to improve the foundation of the early mastery of literacy and numeracy skills, develop pedagogical skills, create a stimulating educational environment, create equity in educational opportunities, enhance performance in poverty zones and improve diagnostic remediation services and effective teaching methods.

The introduction of modern technology into the teaching/learning programme will also form part of this component. This is in keeping with the national objective of introducing computer studies in all schools so as to prepare students to meet the demands of the technological world which has changed so much and is still continuing to rapidly change, Ally explained.

Improving the capacity for a strong organisational base and the development of effective management and accountability systems and creating the capacity to monitor and evaluate the management information system will be the core of the organisational and human resources component.

Under the infrastructure component, emphasis will be placed on increasing the capacity of school places in the education system in the movement towards universal secondary education.

BEAMS will be executed over a period of five years in two phases through a soft loan, Ally said.

It is anticipated that US$35M would be expended in the first phase and the remaining US$15M in the second, he said.

The Primary Education Improvement Programme (PEIP), which became operational in 1993 as a result of a US$52M loan agreement between the Government of Guyana and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 1990, will officially conclude in March this year.

Under this programme, infrastructure within the education system was given a significant boost, with more than 107 schools built or rehabilitated.

Several training programmes for educators to improve their pedagogical skills and management capabilities were also executed. - (CHAMANLALL NAIPAUL)