School attendance level improving – President-at historic education month rally
Georgetown, GINA, September 13, 2013
The level of school attendance and the noticeable decrease in the proportion of male drop-outs are factors pleasing to President Donald Ramotar who received a rousing welcome in the National Park where an education Month rally culminated this morning.
Exceptional performances at the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) over the past years exams, the achievement of universal access to primary education, gender parity, the learning channel and modern educational facilities in areas where such facilities were non-existent were enough reasons to celebrate.
President Ramotar who recently expressed optimism about Guyana topping the region at CXC for another consecutive year, said the investments the government has been making in education is paying off.
“Giving our students uniforms, providing meals for them in some areas, three meals in many areas in the interior, providing other facilities, text books, exercise books, we are seeing more and more students attending schools and the amount of students has risen sharply over the years,” President Ramotar told the packed National Park audience of mostly students.
Given its importance to national development, the education sector has been receiving the largest proportion of funding from the national budget on an annual basis, and has also been tailored to meet the skill requirements of today’s modern world.
The Head of State who was last year appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki-moon to a steering committee to review the education system around the world, implored students at all levels not to take for granted the opportunities being provided in school.
“My advice to you therefore is to learn. Take this time to prepare yourself for the exciting future that is ahead of you and learn… while in school you must pay attention to those core subjects that are very important, but you must also pay attention to your moral upbringing,” President Ramotar urged.
His position about indiscipline in schools was however adamant, stating categorically that it is a problem which no educator must countenance.
The performance in the core subjects, Mathematics and English, continues to be a source of concern.
The record 20 passes at this year’s CXC exams by Zimeena Rasheed from Anna Regina Multilateral on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two followed last year’s performance when Guyana topped the region copping four out of the eight CXC awards.
Minister of Education Priya Manickchand who led the education rally and march from Parade ground, Middle Street to the National Park in the company of Chief Education Officer Olato Sam, said educational success hinges on partnerships among the government, teachers, parents and students.
She urged teachers to commit to being the best educators, students to work towards punctuality and parents to render the guidance necessary in the home for the child.
“Every single child without exception that we have seen do very well, they have all had parents with them foot-to-foot. They were not rich many of them… had parents who supported them,” Minister Manickchand said.
The students were treated to a performance by a combined group of dancers, a song by local artiste Tenecia De Freitas and joined in singing national songs. Also in attendance were students from the recently opened Felix Austin Police training college