Guyana’s Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand believes that as a parent she deserves the same right to choose like any other parent and that’s one of the reasons why she has no issue over her decision to send her young daughter to a private school over the public school system that she overlooks.
The Minister of Education defended that decision at a Friday morning press conference while pointing out that decisions about her daughter’s education are not a single decision made by her but would also incorporate the advice of her husband.
Manikchand’s young daughter is currently a student of a private nursery school and the Minister of Education said she is not sure what decisions she will make when it is time for her son to begin his schooling in 2016.
She sought to explain that because of the way the nursery school system was set up, when her daughter reached the age of three, she was still not ready for the nursery school system since at the time, she was one month younger than the required age.
The education ministry has since changed that requirement for public schools and children are now allowed to begin their nursery education at the age of three.
The Minister also wrote a note on her Facebook page to further explain her decision.
In that note, Minister Manickchand said “my daughter was not of age to enter the public school system but we thought she was ready for school. She was born in April and the policy was, at that time, to allow only children who had been born by March 31st to enter public school in the year they turned three. Private schools, however, were accepting children born later. One accepted her. If we were to take her out of that school now and place her in the public school system because she is now of age she would have to be demoted to a class below that which she is presently in and repeat the work that she has done and/or mastered. That would not at all be in her best interest.”
At the end of year press briefing, the Minister spoke about the gains made in the education sector over the past years. She highlighted improvements in the sector and its development.
The People’s Progressive Party Civic has boasted about improving the quality of education in Guyana over its 22 years in office although there is concern that the dropout rate among many school children appears to be on the rise. Earlier this week, a senior education official raised concern about the dropout rate of boys.
Last month, the government rolled out its “Because We Care” cash grant for parents of children in the public school system. Parents were presented with $10,000 for every child that they have in public schools.
Filed: 12th December, 2014