Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry, MP Minister of Education Statement on the occasion of International Youth Day
Today, Guyana joins the rest of the world in observing International Youth Day 2019 under the theme “Transforming education”. According to the United Nations, this theme is intended to “highlight efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves. Rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” –, International Youth Day 2019 will examine how Governments, young people and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education so that it becomes a powerful tool to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Here in Guyana we are committed to achieving universal access to quality education. To this end, the Ministry of Education continues to work with stakeholders to improve the quality of education delivery. We have begun the process of education reform which involves, curriculum reformation, strategic planning and shifting to more technologically enabled learning experience.
The Government of Guyana is committed and determined to placing our young people at the forefront of our national development, making sure that – regardless of where they call home – all of our students must have equal access to the resources and opportunities that will allow them to cultivate their abilities and reach their full potential. The Youth Innovation Programme, the reintegration of our teenage mothers into formal education and the Public Education Transportation System (PETS) better known as the 5Bs are all initiatives that are rolling back inequality for thousands of Guyanese Youth.
I also on this occasion, endorse UNFPA’s position that “The crucial role quality education plays in youth development is well recognized. In addition, comprehensive youth development benefits society-at-large. However, what is less known is the fact that young people themselves are active champions of inclusive and accessible education. Youth-led organizations, as well as individual youth, together with various stakeholders and Governments, are concretely transforming education so that it becomes a fundamental tool both for sustainable development and for the full inclusion of various social groups”. As we celebrate our young people, let’s use this occasion to further galvanize our efforts to transform education across the globe.