Guyana boasts largest education channel in Caribbean – Education Minister
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand announced on Tuesday that Guyana boasts the largest education channel dedicated to learning in the Caribbean region.
During the 2023 National Budget debates, Minister Manickchand stated that the Guyana Learning Channel, which is also available on YouTube, offers a wide range of educational programmes for students across the country.
The minister said the ministry’s radio station- EdYou FM has also been recognised as the largest radio station in the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, further solidifying the government’s commitment to providing access to quality education for all.
“I’m extremely proud of that work, sir. And that is the work that has allowed us to reach people where ordinarily unless you can afford fancy lessons and Georgetown, you could not be reached,” she told the National Assembly.
Minister Manickchand reminded the house that the Guyana Learning Channel was implemented by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration. She said the coalition government had planned to use the channel for political purposes during its tenure.
She revealed that the government has significantly increased the number of programmes being implemented through the learning channel, from 40 at the time it assumed office in August 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic to 1,800 currently.
“In two years, 1,800 programmes, all the Grade Six concepts and topics, all the Grade Five concepts and topics available now to 85 per cent of the Amerindian villages who never had the Learning Channel before… in the next three months, it is going to be 100 per cent,” the minister said.
Under that programme, television sets, satellite dishes and solar-powered systems were installed in schools in hinterland communities.
The implementation of distance education programmes has contributed to the high pass rates recorded, particularly in the hinterland, in recent examinations, the education minister stated.
“We have seen children from the hinterland communities that never before were able to pass, [did well] …the results of these children are directly correlated to the distance education programmme that we had in 2020,” Minister Manickchand said.
However, it is important to note the many other factors that have contributed to the high pass rate of students at national examinations, including the distribution of learning materials such textbooks.
The school feeding, uniform, and Because We Care cash grant programmes have had a positive impact on access to education by providing necessary resources to students.
This year, the government has allocated $94.4 billion to the education sector, an increase from the $72.8 billion in 2022.