World Bank pumps US$13.5M into Guyana’s education sector

US$13.5 million has been made available to Guyana by the World Bank to support the ongoing Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project and a number of projects intended to enhance education delivery.
The project aims to improve teaching in mathematics and increase enrolment in secondary schools. It will also provide equipment and training to support innovative technology-assisted education delivery methods. Another chunk of the funds will be used to complete construction of two secondary schools, supply resources for those schools, and build a new secondary school.
Speaking on the development, World Bank Resident Representative for Jamaica and Guyana, Ozan Sevimli pointed out that the country’s education system has shown significant progress but strengthening the sector during this pandemic remains crucial.
“Strengthening learning outcomes remains a priority and the pandemic is hitting the education sector hard. Through the ongoing project, we are pleased to support the Government in piloting use of technology and innovative ways of teaching, which are particularly relevant during distance learning. The new financing will support the pilot of a “smart classroom” initiative to help the sector build back better from the pandemic,” the representative directed.
In a statement from the World Bank, it said that the financing will provide more resources to an existing pilot programme that uses adaptive learning software on tablets for mathematics education. The project emphasises the use of technology and higher quality math education, both of which are important to prepare Guyanese students for future employment.
Capacity building for teachers is an important component of the project to improve the quality of secondary education. The project is also supporting the construction of secondary schools in Regions Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and Four (Demerara-Mahaica) since these areas include almost 30 per cent of the country’s secondary school population and over 40 per cent of the population living in poverty.
It went on to say that accessing high-quality secondary school programmes can reduce overcrowding, improve learning conditions, and contribute to increasing enrolment.
The Guyana Secondary Education Project was approved in 2014 and has been extended to 2023 so that all projects can be completed. The original project has already developed mathematics standards for secondary school teachers, supported training for over 600 teachers, and distributed 200 mathematics teaching kits.
The World Bank Group is regarded as one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It has helped developing countries strengthen their pandemic response, enable public health interventions, ensure a proper flow of critical supplies and assist the Private Sector to sustain jobs.