THE World Bank has approved US$6.7 million for the Guyana Education Sector Programme Project, which aims to improve learning in nursery schools, increase the use of technology at the primary level, and improve the overall functionality of the national education management information system.
A press release issued on Wednesday explained that the grant is being awarded by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which is said to be the only global partnership and fund dedicated entirely to helping children in lower-income countries get a quality education.
Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Resident Representative for Jamaica and Guyana, has indicated that over the last 15 years, Guyana’s education sector has been on an upward trajectory.
“There have been improvements; however, the learning outcomes remain low, and improving the quality of education at all levels will be the priority for Guyana to develop its human capital,” Sevimli said.
At the nursery level, the project will support teacher training to improve pedagogy and delivery of a new curriculum. The training will include foundational skills, as well as student-centred pedagogy, formative assessments, and socio-emotional aspects, which are of particular importance during the pandemic.
The project will also provide learning materials and deliver parental education. At the primary level, the financing will equip schools with computer tablets to enable them to use technology for foundational skills like mathematics and literacy, as well as smart classrooms to support learning.
Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of GPE recognised that the agency’s support to strengthen education in Guyana is far more critical now, given that the notable impacts of the pandemic is still being felt around the world.
“GPE will continue to help make Guyana’s education system more resilient and effective so that the most vulnerable girls and boys can go to school and learn,” Albright indicated.
Given the inequitable access to learning during the school closures, technology-assisted learning can facilitate teaching and cater to more learning styles for students with different needs. Finally, the project will finance the further development and roll out of an integrated education management information system at the national level in the nursery, primary and secondary sectors. This enhanced system will generate information, enabling stakeholders across levels to make informed and evidence-based decisions.
“This project will complement two ongoing projects financed by the World Bank’s International Development Association. The Education Sector Improvement Project aims to improve mathematics education and the University of Guyana’s Faculty of Health Sciences,” the press statement said.
The Secondary Education Improvement Project is also strengthening innovative teaching methods, increasing enrollment in secondary schools, and supporting school construction.
It was only recently that Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, assured that government will be working assiduously to rebuild the North Ruimveldt Secondary School, which was completely destroyed by fire. The A-Grade institution housed a total of 512 students and 39 teachers.
The GPE is a shared commitment to ending the world’s learning crisis. With nearly 20 years’ experience helping partner countries to get more girls and boys in school and learning, GPE convenes teachers, civil society, donors, United Nations agencies, development banks, businesses and philanthropists behind partner country leadership to finance and support solutions so that no child is left behind.