– as officials conclude mission here
AN independent consultancy group tasked with evaluating the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) contribution to strengthening national education systems, has concluded its Guyana country mission here.
According to a release, the group paid a courtesy call on Education Minister Nicolette Henry during which it conducted a debriefing session. The consultants who debriefed the minister were Katrina Rojas, Pearline Henry and Dr. Archi Rastogi
Guyana has received a grant from the GPE to the tune of US$1.7 million to improve the Early Childhood Education Programme in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine and remote riverine communities over a three-year period.
During their engagement with Minister Henry, the consultants heaped praises on Guyana for its use of the grant received. Though small by world standards, it was dubbed “impactful” for improving early childhood development, particularly for communities out of Georgetown.
Further, the project has been effective through the delivery of resource learning kits, which have been deemed as “impressive and impactful”.
Minister Henry while expressing gratitude, spoke of government’s emphasis on the importance of the gains and the sustainability of such interventions.
The sustainability is already in progress, as this year’s budget has made provision for kits to be made available to schools on the coastland.
Minister Henry also noted that multi-stakeholder engagements are community- based with a partnership approach via initiatives, such as town hall meetings with parents and local partners which have been very useful.
Referring to her predecessor, Minister Dr Rupert Roopnarine’s commissioning of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) as a gain, Minister Henry said, “We [government] are looking at reviewing the education sector plan for the year towards 2019 when the information collected would inform the forward thrust of the education sector. We are also engaged and continue to interface with key sectors that don’t always have to be a formal setting to address the needs of all Guyanese to gather relevant information to inform decision-making.”
At that juncture, the minister was informed that the GPE also offers grants to fund consultations which could be tapped into, for which the minister expressed elation that the team has engaged the senior officers and other stakeholders.
“I believe that it will be beneficial to aid the process of education advancement from the coast to the hinterland,” the minister said.
Prior to the minister’s debriefing, a team of education officials, including Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson and the Chief of the Planning Unit, Evelyn Hamilton, were part of a summative evaluation of GPE’s contribution to strengthening the national education systems.
The mission in Guyana was conducted from April 9-18, 2018. The purpose of the evaluation is not intended to assess whether Guyana has achieved the outcomes outlined in the 2014-2018 Education Sector plan (ESP). It was aimed at determining the extent to which GPE’s support has been relevant, effective and efficient in helping to strengthen Guyana’s education sector.
The debriefing focused on key messages that emerged from the interviews conducted during the team’s visit. These interviews are only one part of the team’s data collection. These are being completed by a systematic review of relevant documents, sector data and literature. Stakeholders engaged included officials from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, the Teaching Service Commission, development partners, civil society and the private sector.