The Government intends to continue to spend more money in the education field as worrying examination figures continue to haunt the system.
At the primary level, millions of dollars were invested in the area of mathematics. That spending and extra attention are believed to have contributed to the improved pass rate at the 2017 common entrance examinations, but more than half of the students still continue to fail the subject.
In its mid-year report, the Finance Ministry noted that a preliminary analysis of the results from the 2017 common entrance exams “has indicated that efforts, at all levels, including government, community, and family, have begun to result in some improvement”
But the situation is still worrying. The analysis also found “that more than half of all students lack the basic foundation needed to excel at the secondary level.”
The report said the government has started the process of systemic overhaul with the rolling out of the Guyana Education Sector Improvement Project (GESIP).
The initial package, as part of the overarching education reform process, will include integrated curriculum reform of mathematics at the primary level, with emphasis not just on content but also pedagogy.
“This process is expected to be repeated for mathematics at the secondary level and English at the primary level, drawing on lessons from the initial phase”.
According to the Ministry of Education, 13,329 children wrote the 2017 examinations. Of that figure, 55% of them failed Mathematics, 54% failed Science and 53% failed Social Studies.
English was the only subject that saw a majority of candidates passing the examination. 54.1% of the candidates passed English.
Meanwhile, at the tertiary level, focus will be on strengthening teaching capacity.
At the level of early childhood development (ECD), the government said steps were taken to strengthen the national system and to prepare children for a productive learning life.
“Some initiatives undertaken in the first half include the training of 412 teachers in the application of nursery literacy and numeracy standards, conducting parent sensitisation with over 500 parents, and training of 31 new nursery field officers. Over 500 ECD resource kits were provided to nursery and primary schools across the country. Nursery diagnostic assessments (NDAs) are being conducted to assess the effectiveness of early childhood education, and are anticipated to be a tool that continuously guides government interventions”, the report stated.