Former Chief Education Officer to re-join Ministry as Education Specialist
(September 24, 2020) – Former Chief Education Officer, Mr. Olato Sam will rejoin the Ministry of Education to serve in the capacity of Education Specialist in the Office of the Minister of Education.
Mr. Sam is an educator, administrator, and leader in the education fraternity with over twenty-five years of service in the field. His leadership abilities have effectively organised, directed, and enhanced education systems, institutions, policy structures, and programmes in various institutions.
During his years in the sector, Mr. Sam has demonstrated success in programme management while keeping pace with educational innovations. He is a strong motivator and team-player with a developmental approach towards improved education output.
Mr. Sam holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Sociology, Anthropology and Education from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania and a Master’s Degree in International Education/Concentration in Latin America and Caribbean Studies from New York University. He is now a PhD Candidate of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica where his thesis on Education Policy and Planning is under examination.
Mr. Sam began his career in education as a High School Teacher in 1991 at the Walton High School, Bronx, New York, USA. In 1999 he became an Elementary School Teacher at the Our Lady of Grace Elementary School in the same district until 2002. He was also a Graduate Tutor at the New York University Metropolitan Centre for Education.
In 2007, he took up office in Guyana as a Technical Advisor to the Minister of Education until 2010, and from 2011 to September 2016, he served as the Chief Education Officer for the Ministry of Education.
During his tenure as CEO, Mr. Sam provided leadership to the professional arm of the Ministry and devised education policies in collaboration with the Minister of Education, Education Officers and other stakeholders. He provided technical guidance for the effective implementation of education policies in all learning institutions under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education and represented the interests of the Ministry at various local and international forums.
Presently, Mr. Sam is a lecturer at the University of Guyana for the Master’s in Education and Bachelor’s in Education programmes. He has served as Chairman of the Guyana School of Agriculture; Commissioner on the Teaching Service Commission, Guyana; a member on the Caribbean Examinations Council’s Final Awards Committee; Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Cyril Potter College of Education; member of the CARICOM Taskforce on Teacher Education and Training and as a member of the CARICOM Task Force on the Establishment of Teaching Councils.
Mr. Sam has authored a publication in the Journal of Education and Humanities at the University of Guyana titled “Knowledge, Attitudes and Experiences of Undergraduate University Teachers towards HIV-AIDS in Schools”.
Moreover, the former CEO has authored several papers and made numerous presentations covering issues such as the revision of the national curriculum; re-integrating teenage mothers into the education system; improving primary education in Guyana; reforming teacher education and training in Guyana; the experiences of boys in schools in Guyana and improving the quality of education delivery.
Mr. Sam considers it an honour to be given the opportunity to serve Guyana in this new capacity. He said, “As educators, it is always our desire to contribute to the development of our country. I have been fortunate to have served in various capacities within the system and this portfolio will facilitate that on a broader level. The Hon. Minister and the Government of Guyana have a vision for the education system in Guyana and I am excited to be able to contribute the skills and knowledge I possess to the realisation of same.”
On Mr. Sam’s return to the Ministry, the Honourable Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand said, “Olato Sam has much to contribute. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. He is very talented, focused and passionate about taking the sector forward. Guyana will be richer for his addition to the education team and I am very happy to have him back within the Ministry.”