$200M primary school commissioned at Tuschen
– President Ali unveils strategy to improve math pass rates
President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali officially commissioned the Victoria Lily Primary School located at Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, Region Three.
The school was built in record time a cost of under $200 million through a collaborative effort between the Ministries of Education and the Ministry of Housing and Water.
It has the capacity to accommodate over 300 pupils and is equipped with 12 classrooms, each of which is outfitted with Wi-Fi, an auditorium, a kitchenette, two security huts, sanitary blocks, and an area set aside for assembly.
President Ali, in his keynote address at the commissioning ceremony on Tuesday, emphasised that the modern facility is a testament to the government’s commitment to providing quality education in a conducive environment for the nation’s children.
The new school is classified as a ‘c’ grade institution. It will be the first primary institution where Spanish will be taught from Grades one to five.
The president stated that the inclusion of Spanish as one of the core languages, in the school’s curriculum is necessary due to the increasing number of Spanish-speaking children enrolled the school system.
“This community is one of the communities that is now heavily and highly influenced by the influx by the migrants and the integration of Guyanese back here,” he said.
According to President Ali, while the government has heavily invested in improving education infrastructure nationwide, there is an emphasis on enhancing performance in core subject areas at the school level.
However, he expressed concern about the overall pass rate in mathematics, even though students continue to perform well in major national and regional examinations.
To address this, the president stated that the government will deploy a comprehensive strategy, which will involve incorporating additional tools and increasing the number of hours dedicated to mathematics.
“We cannot continue with the existing pass rates in mathematics. It is unacceptable… I am of the view that perhaps create additional compulsory hours for mathematics in the secondary school system, especially at the exam level.
“And for us also to move to see what is the available tool interns of AI ( Artificial Intelligence) and to in corporate AI into the delivery of learning outcomes in mathematics,” he said.
President Ali also mentioned plans to streamline the bureaucracy within the education system for easier access to basic supplies for classrooms, including the intention to directly distribute resources to schools.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, highlighted that the most massive infrastructure buildout in education is currently underway under the PPP/C government.
Between March and August this year, the ministry managed to design, tender, and awarded contracts for seven new secondary schools, including one in Tuschen. Primary schools will also be built in several areas including Recht Door Zee.
Minister Manickchand further noted that all necessary supplies are being provided for the classrooms, and teachers are receiving training alongside their salaries. The children will also benefit from the hot meal programme and receive textbooks.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, Regional Chairman, Sheik Ayube and Chief Education Officer Saddam Hussain were also in attendance.