More evidence-based interventions for education in 2018

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Ministry of Education will continue to invest in evidence-based interventions, like the School Feeding Programme, to improve educational outcomes.

Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry.

Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, said there is evidence to support school feeding programmes unlike the cash vouchers introduced under the previous administration. Citing the United Nations, the Minister noted the feeding programmes enhance enrolment in school and better educational outcomes. “I wish to add that increase educational achievement will improve student’s potential future productivity and earnings – all of which are important to a good life,” she said.

Opposition parliamentarians have been criticising the government for putting a stop to the $10,000 ‘We Care Cash Vouchers’ distribution.  However, Minister Henry pointed out that “we are still to see the documented evidence of how the voucher…is a model or international best practice and more importantly how it is linked to enhancing enrolment in school or better yet improved educational outcomes”.

The statements were made during the Minister’s defence of the 2018 National Budget in the National Assembly today.

During 2017, the Ministry has introduced several evidence-based interventions such as the smart classroom and presidential grants for secondary schools under the National Endowment for Science and Technology (NEST).

NEST seeks to equip selected schools with science equipment and consumables, generate enthusiasm and participation in Science and Technology education among students and re-orient science education for sustainability.

“As a responsible government, we have to make difficult strategic decisions, and we will continue to find innovative solutions to close the gaps and reduce the disparities in education,” Minister Henry pledged.

In 2018, the government will be investing $41.9B in the education sector to improve the quality of education provided to Guyana’s children.  This includes, the introduction of some 335 trained teachers to the system in 2018 and the reintroduction of training of teachers in Region Eight after more than two decades.

“This measure will not only help us but will also ensure that all our Regions throughout the length and breadth of Guyana now have teacher training hubs,” Minister Henry noted.

Meanwhile, Minister Henry noted that her Ministry will prioritise Special Needs Education in 2018 aided by the Special Education Diagnosis and Assimilation Centre at Turkeyen. “The evidence is saying to us that these conditions are treatable and perhaps avoidable with early diagnosis and treatment,” Minister Henry noted.

Additionally, the Ministry will be undertaking a conditions survey of all schools in 2018 to generate data to guide maintenance and infrastructural works.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

 

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