Govt aims to enhance technical education, reduce dropouts – President Ali
- Says Spanish could become a compulsory subject in school
His Excellency President Dr Irfaan Ali said that his Government is looking to enhance education throughout the varying levels to fit into the dynamic and changing nature of the country.
During the commissioning ceremony of the state-of-the-art Good Hope Secondary School on the East Coast of Demerara, today, the President pointed to the need to augment the learning capacity of Guyanese students.
He said that the Government is aware of the trajectory of the country, the needs of its education system and the demands of the future.
Learning, he explained, must not be one-dimensional and systems must be in place to prepare the next generation for a multiplicity of careers.
“We understand the direction the country is going, and we understand the nature of children in secondary schools. So, you have those who will be more inclined to technical education, and we have to start weaning this issue of dropouts from our system. We have to look at where that gap is and to see how we can catapult our system to take the interests of students into consideration and then stream them off to what they’re interested in.”
SPANISH AS A COMPULSORY SUBJECT
The Head of State said that on the agenda is the possibility of making Spanish a compulsory subject in the school system.
He said that although Guyana is part of the Caribbean “by culture and design”, the country is also geographically part of South America, which contains a number of Spanish-speaking countries.
“We now have to move to seriously consider making Spanish a compulsory language in our school system, because it is vital for the young people coming up in this country and in this region.”
Of the 13 countries in South America, nine are Spanish-speaking.
With the commissioning of the new school, and others being constructed across the country, the President pointed out that for education to be delivered equitably, there must be even and impartial investments throughout Guyana to ensure that every child has the same opportunity.
In addition, the President spoke of the enhanced nature of modern schools with the ability to have indoor sport, such as table tennis and badminton and about facilitating training programmes after school hours.
“We want to use these facilities optimally. So we’re going to work with the management of these schools…to have these learning programmes done right here in the secondary schools in the evenings when the children are not there. So, we’ll have optimal use of the facility.”
The President explained that training programmes such as one recently launched for nurses, the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarship programme and other educational courses can be facilitated at schools.
“Let us all work towards making a difference, building a stronger society, unifying our country and ensuring that we create the perfect platform through which these wonderful young people can have the best possible future.”