Guyana’s Ministry of Education (MoE) in collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is hosting a one-week Policy Formulation Workshop to draft the Education Sector Plan for 2019-2030. The workshop, which began on Monday, has drawn participants from across the education sector and the country.
The Minister of Education Dr Nicolette Henry was present at the opening of the workshop and in her remarks, Dr Henry began by informing that the MoE is committed to increasing students’ achievements through an efficient education system.
“Through this process of developing the new Education Sector Plan the priority of the ministry is to ensure better alignment between policy formulation and implementation along the entire education value chain”.
Additionally, Dr Henry believes that meticulous planning within the timelines stipulated is essential to the transformation and improvement of the education sector. Further, the Education Minister noted that as the Education Sector Plan is formulated it is important that officers set clear targets that will be achieved in terms of quality, equity and access and the need to continuously monitor and adjust their plans in order to achieve the objectives.
Added to that, Dr Henry said that her government is committed to transforming the country’s education system over the next decade. “Our goal is to equip our students holistically to allow them to succeed in the 21stcentury, amidst the opportunities and challenges that this new era presents”. The Education Minister opined that in order for our students to stand a chance to compete globally, Guyana’s education system must develop young Guyanese who are knowledgeable, think critically, are creative, have leadership skills and are able to compete with the rest of the world.
Another area that is on the Minister’s radar that will be addressed in the new Education Sector Plan is reducing the disparity in the performance between different groups of students, in particular between coastal and hinterland students and those students who have special education needs. She said that in order to deliver on these fundamental transformations a shift and enlargement of focus is required. Towards this end, technology enabled learning is an area that the MoE will be placing greater focus.
“We need to examine as objectively as possible what strategies have worked well and which strategies need to be changed or adjusted as we move into this new plan period”.
Chief Education Officer (CEO), Mr. Marcel Hutson in his address said that the workshop is timely since it ensures that all stakeholders are working towards the same goals. The CEO believes that a successful education system provides quality education for all in spite of. Further, Mr. Hutson said that all educators have role to play, since in his view the ‘part is greater than the whole’. According to Hutson, a well thought out plan will hold officers accountable for their stewardship and will ensure that they deliver so that the children can benefit and by extension the county.
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Representative, Ms Sylvie Fouet commended the leadership of the MoE for undertaking such an exercise. Ms Fouet said that the exercise is not a one stop approach but she sees it as a journey that will take Guyana places in the sphere of education.
The five-day workshop commenced today and includes the Regional Education Officers (ReDOs’) and other senior education officials.