Residents of Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are calling for equal education opportunities to be granted to children living in the region.
This issue was recently raised when the Commissioners of the Commission of Inquiry into the education sector met with education stakeholders in the region, particularly residents within the Regional Democratic Council of Linden and Kwakwani.
The stakeholders raised their concerns about the present state of education and its delivery within the region, while making calls for the Education Ministry to ensure that children have access to equal education opportunities.
The opportunities they mentioned included access to sport facilities and equipment, technology, adequate and hygienic school facilities, and transportation, which are all challenges in the region.
They highlighted the need for welfare officers; an additional boat to assist children from riverine communities in getting to school in a timely manner; and the need for a bus to transport children who live in Moblissa, a village about seven miles in from the Soesdyke Highway, to attend school in Linden.
One of the issues raised was the fact that children living in Moblissa continue to drop out of school, owing to the distance they are required to travel to get there.
One parent noted that the lack of Internet access in the community also presents a challenge when completing assignments. Residents of Obama Drive, Amelia’s Ward in Linden have also expressed similar concerns. It was noted too that teachers continue to “short change” children in the classroom as they frequently complete the syllabus at their private lessons, which inevitably puts a significant number of students at a disadvantage.
Additionally, regional authorities and community leaders are urging the Government to ensure that all schools are placed on the same level in terms of the types and quality of subject areas and the level of resources put into sustaining those subject areas, including the sciences.
A call was also made for guidance and counselling officers to be placed in primary schools.
In its effort to review, revise, upgrade and extend the Education Sector Strategic Plan, the Education Ministry has launched an inquiry into the education system. The inquiry is intended to provide “evidential bases” for the revision, upgrading and extension of the plan, the Ministry announced on Tuesday.