Education Min. fulfilled commitment to development of STEAM in its sector

—thousands of students benefitted, end of year outcome shows

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 2, 2020

In the presentation of the 2019 budget the Ministry of Education committed towards the development of ‘STEAM’ – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, in the various levels of the education sector.

The budget promised the upgrading and provision of new science labs to the La Bonne Intention and Plaisance Secondary Schools, as well as, the expansion of smart classrooms and upgrading IT labs in primary and secondary schools, across the nation with Santa Rosa and Paramakatoi secondary schools being among priority institutions.

In fulfilling its mandate, 2019 saw approximately 5,000 students and 40 teachers benefitting from the upgrading of ten science labs at St. Roses, Christ Church, Santa Rosa, 8th of May, Leguan, Plaisance, Mahdia, Kingston, St. Mary’s and La Bonne Intention secondary schools.

This information was presented in June 2020 by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan, as part of the End of Year Outcome report for 2019.

The report also reflected that, six Information Technology (IT) labs were upgraded at Windsor Forest, Patentia, Craig, Eccles, Helena and Paradise Primary Schools, for the advancement of 2,000 students and 101 teachers.

Additionally, another 7,000 students and 370 teachers benefitted from IT lab upgrades at the secondary level, which impacted 15 secondary schools.

The hinterland region moved steps closer to the development of smart classrooms as, Paramakatoi and Santa Rosa Secondary Schools received smart boards which, are currently operational.

Another significant milestone in education for the hinterland region in 2019, was the launching of the first ever smart classroom in Region Nine (Upper Takutu Upper Essequibo Region) at the Lethem Learning Resource Centre.

This was done through a collaboration with NCERD and the Regional Democratic Council.

In terms of Mathematics, at the primary level, a total of 400 mathematics kits were distributed to all Grade 4 classes in schools in coastal regions, benefitting 10,835 students.

The Ministry of Education expended a total of $53 Billion at end of 2019. Of that $25.1 billion was spent on employment costs, $22.3 Billion on other current operational expenditure; and, $5.5 Billion on capital expenditure, while $574.3 Million was underspent.

$5.2 Billion was spent in construction, rehabilitation, extension, and maintenance of educational facilities and $3 Billion to support operational costs and upgrading of facilities at the University of Guyana.

The year also saw more teacher training, the piloting of a technical, vocational education and training (TVET) programme, literacy kits, expansion of the School Feeding Programme which benefited an additional 820 students.