Success of education

As the 1712 graduands proudly celebrate their success having completed several levels of studies under the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL), it is a good time to remind that education provides one of the main planks for the pursuit of an enhanced life and lifestyle. The ability to read is critical to a student’s success, as well as to lifelong earning potential and economic security.
In spite of the many and various challenges facing Guyana in the delivery of services in the various sectors, when one focuses on the education sector, one can see marked success in the programmes initiated by past and present Governments to deliver quality education to all of Guyana’s children, and provide equitable opportunities for all in the pursuit of upward mobility.
A primary initiative in the education system, which has created success in the education sector, is the establishment of GOAL, which has surpassed its target to provide 20,000 Guyanese with scholarships.
According to data released by the Government earlier this year, since the GOAL scholarship programme was launched in 2021, from 2021 to 2023, a total of 21,442 persons benefited from GOAL scholarships, and this saw Guyanese attaining certificates; diplomas and bachelor’s, post-graduate, master’s, and doctorate degrees in various courses.
The sum of $1.8 billion in budgetary provision was made available to the Public Service Ministry for the programme last year, given the Government’s commitment to the educational advancement of citizens. With regard to Internet connectivity and computer devices, resources were provided to ensure that Information Communication Technology (ICT) hubs in several regions are functional.
In this year’s budget, $4 billion was set aside for the GOAL programme.
Another initiative of the education sector which has created success is the Multimedia Centre at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), with one of the centre’s main activities being the production and broadcast on television of educational programmes. The Learning Television Channel is dedicated to broadcasting programmes throughout the country via the use of satellite communications technology. Broadcasting commenced in 2011, and has proven a great success story.
Additionally, organisational capacity and managerial capability have been enhanced, strengthening the management of the education sector and central ministry.
Focus has been placed on achieving improved educational outcomes through a continuum of policy reviews, initiation of new programmes and initiatives, promoting improved performance management, and monitoring mechanisms geared to ensuring that the goals of the Education Strategic Plan are achieved.
Teacher training has also been enhanced with the introduction of the Associate Degree in Education (ADE), for which thousands have enrolled and concluded training at the Cyril Potter College of Education, along with other teachers in training.
Teachers have been benefiting from continuous development programmes, especially in special training for Maths and English teachers who participate in the non-graduate programmes.
Efforts to support the advances made in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the school and post-secondary levels have also borne fruit, as well as in the field of ICT, where teachers receive basic training in the use of computers with a project of equipping computer labs completed. As such, there have been great strides made in ensuring professionalisation of the teaching force.
In the student community, remediation programmes to facilitate improved Maths and English scores are an ongoing facet of quality education.
There have been stringent efforts to promote child-friendly schools, including enhancements to the school buildings; sanitation blocks; health, nutrition and counselling services; revitalising the PTAs; community outreaches; student councils, and inclusive education. These elements facilitate the realisation of child-friendly schools.
However, irrespective of the efforts of Government, the development of Guyana’s students need cooperative partnership between parents and educational mentors, so parents need to recognise that their support and participation are integral to the holistic development of their children, so that they can emerge as rounded adults primed to engage and overcome the challenges of adulthood.