[www.inewsguyana.com] – Education Minister Priya Manickchand this morning (September 1), released her 2014 Education Month message where she noted that Guyana’s education system has risen from a deficient and decrepit state.
She recalled that the education system had teetered along the brink of destruction while highlighting the achievements up to this point.
Below is the Minister full message:
Once again it is that time of year when we as proud Guyanese stop to reflect and celebrate our many achievements as a nation in the area of education. This September, we celebrate Education Month 2014 under the theme “Literate by Grade Four Through Consistent Home, School and Community Involvement”. And this year, we begin to observe this special month on the very day schools reopen across the country. We begin another promising and exciting year of teaching and learning and progressive growth in an education system that has shown remarkable improvements over the last two decades.
Our education system today has arisen from a deficient and decrepit state where it teetered along the brink of destruction, with very meagre investments being made in it, and with pass rates of approximately twenty-two percent. The promising structure it has become as a result of unmatched investment being made by government results in pass rates of sixty percent.
Education month 2014 comes at a time when, amidst all that it has done and continues to do for education, the government is on the brink of a no confidence vote by the political opposition. Notwithstanding the GUY$38B allocated to the education sector in Budget 2014 being the most money ever invested by a government in education in the history of Guyana, the politics of the opposition is trying to undermine this investment by asking the PPP/C Government to resign. That Guyana, under this government, is the first country in the western hemisphere to grant each child in the public school system GUY$10,000, an approximation of USD50, the profoundly immoral politics of the opposition is trying to derail the progress being made by this government.
Former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan once said: “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Guyana is currently witnessing unprecedented growth in its education sector with the achievement of universal primary education. Every child in Guyana of the primary age cohort has access to a primary school. This did not just happen. This achievement is as a result of strategic government investment with a view to bolstering the primary sector of the education system. And should the government be allowed to serve its constitutional five-year term, then Guyana would have achieved universal secondary education.
Approximately eighty-five percent of our children attend nursery school.
Such is the trajectory of the progress made in our education system that we have the most trained teachers we have ever had in the history of Guyana with just about 70 percent of our teachers being trained. In 1991 we had fifty-eight percent trained teachers in the education system.
While we have much to be proud of and to celebrate and give thanks for, we as a Ministry are very cognizant of the fact that we have much work to do in order to bring our education system to its optimal standard. The Government of Guyana continues to do its part to provide the adequate resources to service the education sector so as to ensure our nation’s future leaders are afforded the best education they can get.
As the Education Month 2014 theme this year suggests, the Ministry is paying strict attention to early childhood education. The focus is on establishing literacy at an early age, ensuring that our young children grasp the concepts of literacy that are intrinsic to their further development in academia and life.
Achieving literacy by Grade Four requires a strong partnership between and among the Ministry of Education, Schools, Parents and Children. We have to work together assiduously to ensure we positively change the literacy level of our children. The government and the Ministry can invest and craft policies to ensure we enhance our literacy levels, but ultimately success will be achieved when parents become more interested and play a more active role in their children’s school life.
As we celebrate Education Month 2014, let us passionately strive to achieve our goals. Best wishes and may God bless you.