“No child left behind policy” needs to be reviewed – GTU General Secretary

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President of GTUC, Coretta McDonald

The Automatic Promotion Policy (APP) dubbed the “No Child Left Behind Policy” has now become an obstruction to delivering quality education to children in the classroom since students are no longer motivated to excel at their studies.

This is according to General Secretary of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), Coretta McDonald, who said that this policy is affecting the progress of teachers at schools.

She explained that while this policy was created with the intention of helping the education system in Guyana, years later, it is now having negative effects.

McDonald stated that such behaviour by some children in the schools is also having an effect on students who actually want to achieve the highest marks at examinations.

Their drive for competition in academia can be adversely affected when they observe their classmates not performing well at school but everyone is still being promoted, she noted.

According to the GTU General Secretary the government needs to either review the Automatic Promotion Policy and revamp it or abolish it from the education system in Guyana.

When it was introduced into the school system, the then Opposition People’s National Congress/ Reform (PNC/R) had repeatedly condemned the former administration for this move and heavily criticized such an initiative. However, although it had been announced by the PPP that the APP was revoked, the APNU+AFC government is still implementing this policy, the same policy it was objecting to under the PPP government.

PPP/C MP and former Education Minister, Priya Manickchand

In July, 2013, the then Education Minister Priya Manickchand announced that the Education Ministry revoked this policy since it had been rejected by parents and students.

Manickchand at the time had said that students who perform poorly in Mathematics and English would not be promoted to the next level. The APP system is only in secondary schools.

The decision to revise the APP followed countrywide consultations at 30 meetings that were held as part of the planned review after two years.

 

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