Minister of Education scoffs at suggestions that Guyana’s Education Sector is in crisis
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand has scoffed at suggestions that the Guyana Education sector is in crisis. Last week opposition Leader David Granger described the state of the education sector as being in a crisis. However, on Wednesday the Ministry of Education acknowledged that while the 2013 CSEC results particularly in Math and English Language were not encouraging, the Minister said that the dismal results in these two core subjects are not unique to Guyana. The Minister said that from an examination of education trends globally, students are struggling with Mathematics especially in developing countries like ours.
The Minister also highlighted that CXC in its analysis of the 2013 results stated, while there was a slight improvement on Mathematics over last year, performance remained below average with 35 percent of entries achieving acceptable grades, compared to 33 percent last year.
Nevertheless, the Minister said that it is not sensible to accuse the Ministry of creating a National Disaster based on the CSEC 2013 Maths results. Just last Friday APNU called for a Commission of Inquiry into the education sector. Opposition Leader David Granger said that the Party has opted to recommend a Commission of Inquiry instead of a bi-partisan task force on education, since with the Commission of Inquiry, the Government would be legally bound to implement the recommendations.
Despite the opposition’s criticism, the Ministry said that it has been implementing several initiatives to address the challenges faced by students in Mathematics. The Ministry said that it also implemented a Continuous Professional Developmental programme in English and Mathematics for teachers. Also, it has instituted incentives for those teachers who graduate from these courses, providing additional training for teachers in low performing schools and also produced television programmes for students in Math and English. The Ministry said too that no single-minded approach would solve the problem and called on Guyanese not to let the outcry of some critics drown the fact that Guyana has dominated the CSEC awards over the last ten years.
The AFC has also expressed dissatisfaction with the 2013 CSEC results. It also called for a comprehensive review of the delivery of education in Guyana.