Spanish compulsory in primary schools from September

Spanish will be made a compulsory subject in the primary school curriculum from September, in keeping with the government’s ongoing efforts to improve education at all levels.

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali made the announcement during a press conference on Wednesday, at his Shiv Chanderpaul Drive office, Georgetown.  

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and pupils of the Leonora Primary School

Recognising the demands of the future and the needs of the education system, the head of state reemphasised the requirement for improving students’ ability to learning.  

Being in a continent in South America…we are the only English-speaking country. We have to realise too, that we are part of this continent that speaks Spanish. And I believe we are going to do the future young people of our country an injustice if we don’t point them in this direction. If you want to be competitive internationally, you have to have this second language,” the President noted.

The government has engaged several bilateral partners to loan Guyana the human resource assets for the process to commence.

“I think that we have enough capacity and we are going to build the capacity by September to have this introduced at least to start from Grades Four or Five…I’ve asked for a full assessment [and] I’ve been told that we have adequate capability, especially at the secondary level, to have this compulsory language taught.”

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali shares a light moment with primary school pupils

President Ali underscored that Spanish is integral and necessary for the development of skilled human resources.

“We will also work on whether we can launch an online platform for Guyanese who want to learn Spanish to go on that platform to learn Spanish.

“I’m hoping that not only will the schools implement this but the private sector would also move towards having their employers trained in Spanish,” the president added.