Access is the Beginning of Education: MoE Invests in Infrastructure and Distance Learning

Written by on May 16, 2024

The Ministry of Education is continuing on its mission to increase access to education. During a press conference at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) on Tuesday 14th May 2024, the Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand stated that according to the United Nations, Guyana has already achieved universal primary education. Thus, the ministry is now working towards achieving universal nursery and secondary education. With regard to nursery education, Minster Manickchand explained that we have registered the highest enrollment of nursery aged learners in the Commonwealth Caribbean. Nonetheless, the education minister acknowledged that there is a significant gap between the number of registered nursery aged learners in the hinterland and those on the coast. Hence, the ministry is working to construct more nursery schools in those far-flung communities.

Education Infrastructure

Additionally, primary and secondary schools across all 10 administrative regions are being constructed, and existing schools are under repair. For instance, Min. Manickchand stated that five new secondary schools are in the works for Region One. The secondary schools at North-West and Hosororo are currently under construction. Others will be built at Matthews Ridge, Waramuri, and Kwebanna. Moreover, existing schools like J.C. Chandisingh Secondary in Region 6, D.C. Caesar Fox in Region 7, and Beterverwagting Practical Instruction Centre (PIC) and Annandale Secondary in Region 4 are being extended to accommodate more students and include more diverse learning facilities. Facilities are also being constructed to address Special Education Needs and to offer Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).

“Access is the beginning of education for many people.”
– Minister of Education Hon. Priya Manickchand

In response to some commentary that constructing new schools means nothing, Min. Manickchand explained that where there is no school, there is no place for children to learn. She cited that for people in the hinterland and other remote communities, not having a school facility means that they won’t be able to receive or have access to a secondary education. Therefore, the construction, extension and maintenance of educational infrastructure, particularly in the hinterland, allows students the opportunity to complete their schooling, pursue tertiary education and eventually improve their livelihoods.

Distance Learning

Another key aspect of the Ministry’s thrust to improve access to education is its implementation of Distance Learning. There are now several platforms available to aid Guyanese of all ages in acquiring an education.

At present, EdYou FM, the Ministry of Education’s Radio station, covers all ten Administrative regions, including areas that had never benefitted from radio coverage. For the Primary level, the radio station broadcasts lessons for the four core subjects: Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies. There is also content for several subject areas at the Secondary and Nursery levels. However, the station is working towards providing more content for those grade levels.
To supplement the radio station and offer more customized learning, EdYou FM has created EdPal. EdPal is a free mobile app for Android devices. The app gives users the flexibility to access lessons for specific grade levels, subjects and topics.

The Guyana Learning Channel (GLC), another one of the ministry’s distance learning platforms, is accessible across the hinterland. Minister Manickchand outlined that the ministry has provided signal, satellite, televisions, and solar power to 90% of the hinterland, allowing children in these communities to access the same services as the children on the coast.

Other avenues available for learning are the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) Scholarship programme which has given more than 25,000 Guyanese the opportunity to earn tertiary qualifications in various disciplines from a total of 19 international universities. The Get Ready for Opportunities to Work (GROW) programme offers a similar opportunity for individuals who dropped out of high school, didn’t sit the CSEC exams and would not be able to qualify for university.
Also, the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) now offers its courses online. This is especially beneficial for hinterland teachers since, with the internet, they can receive training in their communities.

The Ministry of Education’s continued investments in infrastructure and distance learning are all in an effort to execute its mandate to improve access to education across the country.


The Home of Family Edutainment

Current track