Guyana has engaged in intense curriculum reform to transform education delivery
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand has underscored that more can be done for students to have relevant and in-depth teachings relating to climate change consequences and how Guyana’s oil and gas and agriculture diversification are benefitting the region.
Minister Manickchand made the assertion during the 3rd Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Ministerial Summit 2023 hosted in Bridgetown, Barbados on Friday last.
The summit featured high-level speakers across the region, including education policymakers, who delivered keynote remarks and participated in roundtable discussions.
The education minister stated that Guyana has engaged in robust and intense curriculum reform to further transform the delivery of education.
“We have engaged in intense curriculum reform to make it more practical…How are we marrying and making sure that curriculum content and methodology in delivery is relevant and effective in the population we want to bring up,” Minister Manickchand posited.
She stated that education transformation in the region has peculiar circumstances that can make it more challenging than the more developed countries.
“We have too many other nuances that we are addressing including competing interests in individual countries for budgetary allocation and the reduced budgetary funding in IFIs towards education across the world,” Minister Manickchand highlighted.
The minister suggested that CXC can implement some changes in meeting the needs by using statistics to inform what happens in individual countries.
“We have different countries with different needs…It’s important for us to begin the transformation robustly…Transformation has begun everywhere else. We don’t want to be left behind in the region.
“I think that CXC has done a remarkable job of meeting the needs. But I believe, also, that there has been some stagnation in how quickly we can meet those needs. I see excellent movements like the E-testing being introduced… I still think there can be more from CXC in reviewing some of what was implemented is working,” she added.
Guyana has transformed its curriculum by developing and implementing a renewed set of courses for Grades One to Four in the four core subjects in all the regions.
Some 3,500 teachers have been trained in the implementation of the new curriculum.
Guyana has also piloted a renewed nursery curriculum focusing on more play-based learning in 35 per cent of all schools.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister highlighted that the government transformed its education system to develop quick and efficient means of distance education. Technology-infused learning was also utilised during that period to help curb learning loss.
Guyana Learning Channel (GLC) coverage in the hinterland region has increased to 85 per cent. By the end of the year, coverage is expected to increase to 100 per cent.
In Guyana, the education minister stressed that the implementation of smart classrooms in many schools countrywide has helped to develop distance learning.
“We are engaged to transform our system and to make teachers ready and prepared…Continuous professional development sessions, at least 40 hours, that each teacher must engage in every year,” Minister Manickchand informed.
The summit was themed, ‘Reimagining educational reform towards transformative agility.’