The Government of Guyana remains committed to making education a top priority for the people of the country and strategies have already been implemented to realize this vision of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) government with recent results making evident the efforts that have been made to have this goal accomplished, Education Minister Shaik Baksh has asserted.
In this regard, he announced that no compromise will be made in the implementation of plans.
Baksh who was at the time speaking at the St. Ignatius Secondary School annual graduation exercise held in the school’s auditorium, said the ministry is committed in the pursuit to make this goal a reality at all hinterland schools.
He pointed out that considerable attention is being placed on achieving equal access to quality education as defined by the standards and norms outlined by the ministry.
“The recent results of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) have indicated that progress is being made in this area.” he said.
The minister noted that many rural secondary schools performed satisfactorily at CSEC 2011, and in some cases, even better than some schools in Georgetown.
“According to data from the local Examinations Division, four schools outside of Georgetown were among the country’s top 10; 11 were in the top 20; and more than a dozen secured pass rates between 75 per cent to 60 per cent” Baksh disclosed .
He added: “Region Four secured the position as the top region in the country at the examinations, gaining an overall pass rate of 71.5 per cent to overtake Georgetown with 70.8 per cent”
The minister said also that this year, more pupils from the country schools made it into the country’s top one per cent compared to last year through the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).
In addition, the rural schools performed creditably at the recent Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).
The St. Ignatius Secondary School recorded an overall pass rate of 72 per cent, counting grades one to three at CSEC.
Shammah Noel, the school’s top student obtained 11 subjects with eight grade ones including distinctions in Mathematics and English.
The school also registered 100 per cent passes in six subject areas including Integrated Science, Agriculture Science and Geography.
Securing 91 per cent pass in Biology, 78 per cent in Chemistry, and 64 per cent in Physics ,and Information Technology coming on stream only last year.
The goal, Baksh said is to make all students computer literate, and ensure that every teacher in the school system is able to use the computer as a teaching and learning tool.
Through the fibre optic cable from Brazil, all hinterland schools will receive internet access.
These achievements, the minister said augers well for the region and Guyana, as they are in harmony with the thrust of the One Lap Top Per Family Programme, and on a wider perspective, in keeping with the national development agenda.
He said that the developments cannot be more pleasing as the ministry celebrates Education Month, 2011 under the theme “Transforming Guyana through Science and Technology”.
Baksh praised the performance of the school, the hard work of its teachers and the involvement of parents in their children’s education. On that note, he encouraged the teachers to keep up their good work, and strive to build on the gains made.
He also encouraged qualified students of the graduating class of 66 to join the teaching profession, and pointed out that the ministry is willing to work with those who have an interest but are not qualified to meet the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) entry requirements.
Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai who also spoke at the graduation ceremony said the policies, measures and interventions of the Education Ministry have been yielding results, pointing out that Guyana has achieved Universal Primary Education, is on the verge of achieving Universal Secondary Education and enrollment at the pre-primary level stands around 85 per cent.
Today, the minister pointed out that access to education at the nursery, primary and secondary levels in the hinterland regions is unprecedented, and praised the leadership of Minister Baksh for bringing about significant reforms to the education sector.
Sukhai noted that government’s heavy investment in the education sector is a reflection of the significant attention it places on youth to eradicate poverty, build rounded citizens and capable leaders to support and maintain national unity and continuous growth and development of the country.