AS the experiences of Asian countries have demonstrated, societies driven by knowledge are more likely to prosper both economically and socially, when compared to those that do not pay enough attention to human-resource development.
The importance of education had prompted President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali to increase education expenditure in the national budget.
This was indeed a forward-looking development initiative on the part of President Ali, as it will certainly propel the country’s already remarkable development to even greater heights. As the modernisation process picks up momentum, the need for a skilled and well-educated workforce becomes something of a national imperative.
Already, the country has been making spectacular achievements both in terms of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) and the Caribbean Secondary School Examination (CSEC).This augers well in terms of the development of our human capital, which is so vital for the modernisation process, especially in the context of the emerging oil-and-gas sub-sector.
Education is much more than a medium of economic development. At a much more fundamental level, education is a vehicle of empowerment which enhances an individual’s ‘lebenchances,’ which is that ability to better navigate the challenges of life and living.
People who are educated generally make better choices in life and are much more empowered to contribute to nation-building in more meaningful ways. It is a well-established fact that education plays a key role in the reduction of poverty and inequity in society, something which President Ali is passionate about.
As pointed out by the President, education is a core element of Guyana’s social transformation. Investments in education, he said, are aimed at unlocking the potential of our students to help them realise their aspirations, while enhancing the repository of skills available for national development.
Education has always been high on the PPP/Cs national agenda and is consistent both with the country’s National Development Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to ensure the provision of inclusionary and high-quality education and the closing of attainment gaps in the education system. And while these gaps still remain, there is no doubt that robust measures are in place to reduce and eventually eliminate existing gaps.
With significant inflows of oil revenues, more money will be available for national and sectoral development and education is a guaranteed beneficiary of such funding increases.
This will certainly help to modernise the education-delivery system by way of more trained teachers, a better learning environment, curricula reform and development, and greater opportunities for online learning. In short, the critical success factors in quality education delivery are now being better addressed.
President Ali and the PPP/C administration must be commended for the emphasis being placed on human development, of which education is an important component. What we are in fact experiencing is the emergence of a knowledge-based society, one in which every citizen of Guyana will be provided with an opportunity to develop to the full limit of his or her potential.
With a strong focus on providing equitable access to quality education, the government has allocated some $94.4 billion to the education sector. This is an increase to the sector from the $72.8 billion allocation in 2022. This alone sends a strong signal of the government’s intention.