[www.inewsguyana.com] – In response to problems such as a high level of illiteracy, the large number of school drop-outs and the constantly falling standard of the University of Guyana (UG), the newly appointed Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine has signaled his intention to completely overhaul the education system.
“We are not satisfied with the way in which literacy in this country is going. We are very unhappy with the large number of drop outs from the system,” the Education Minister told the Government Information Agency (GINA.)
“It is not working when you are losing hundreds of people who are not completing school. It is not working if people are coming out of school, not being able to read and write completely. It is not working if the standard of the university is constantly falling. These are things that we need to address and we have to begin to do a thorough analysis and understanding of what has gone wrong in the education system and we have to begin at the beginning,” Dr. Roopnaraine said.
The Education Minister noted that absolutely everything will be looked at, from the curriculum to the text books that are being used in the classroom. He explained that revision must be at the earliest level of education in Guyana because “the mistakes that we make when they are very small and very young are the mistakes that we come to regret when they are very much older.”
“So we want to see the education system of the child and the process of educating the child as beginning from really right down at the bottom, when the child is very small all the way to tertiary,” he said.
He noted that the overhaul will be a long process, but one that must be done and in a systematic way to ensure that at every level of the education system the student is better prepared.
“That means intense scrutiny of the curriculum, intense scrutiny of all the text books, we have to ensure that what is being taught is correct,” he said.
He added that, “…education, culture, sports, and youths are in fact the areas, where we are able to work at uniting a divided country. This is the task of this ministry. The task of this ministry is not just to produce excellent students, but we have a larger more profound political task. It is through our work in culture, education and among the young that we are going to in effect bring about the healing and reconciliation of the country and bring people together and go forward as one.”
The Education Minister is at the moment looking at the establishment of the various Departments, meeting with the different Heads of the Departments, interviewing persons and trying to get practitioners who are experienced in all these areas of operations to make their contributions to the process.
He said that the ministry will start to take action as soon as it can, based on real assessment. [Extracted and modified from GINA]