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Speaking at the Sixth National Award Ceremony to honour the outstanding performers at the Primary and Secondary school levels, at the National Cultural Centre Wednesday, the President said a sound education is a golden achievement and the education sector has a special place among the programmes of the Government.
"This sector will continue to receive my Government's fullest attention, support and, of course, financial resources," the President assured.
He added: "The PPP/C Government has invested large sums of money in the education sector since occupying office in 1992. More than 17 per cent of the 2002 Budget was allocated to this sector."
The Head of State said that while the benefits of the vast investment in education are not immediate, the fruits are evident when students perform as well as the awardees did.
PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo congratulating outstanding performers. (Mike Norville photos)
He noted that the outstanding success of the students is an indication of the hard work of teachers and the large sums of money of money that have been consistently put into the improvement of education.
"The education sector has a special place on our national plan. It is our top priority in the long-term. In the short-term it (our priority) may be crime, but in the long-term it is education because we feel the benefits of education will not only prepare people for a new life and changing circumstances, but they allow people to live more fulfilling lives," he explained.
He said that efforts are being made to reorient the sector to enhance the quality of education delivered at public institutions.
An aggressive restructuring programme of the education system is under way involving Secondary School reform, universal secondary education and technical/vocational education. The latter sector is prioritised to enhance the development of skills and entrepreneurship, the President related.
The reformation programme will also focus on character development and an appreciation of the multi-ethnic composition of the Guyanese society.
The subjects that will be dealt with under this aspect of the education programme include:
* Pride in Guyana.
* Multi-ethnic skills to provide a better understanding of the various ethnic groups and the appreciation of cultural diversification.
* Responsibility -- youths will be taught to execute their duties in a responsible manner especially in relation to the problems of single parenting.
* Values such as respect for elders and religion, and
* Generation of ideas rather than just to gather information and memorising things learnt. (Government Information Agency -- GINA)