Hinterland Education: What’s In Store for 2024

Written by on February 14, 2024

Marti DeSouza, Deputy Chief Education Officer with responsibility for Amerindian and Hinterland Education Development.

Hinterland regions will see further improvement in education throughout the year. Plans are already in motion to alleviate a number of issues, including overcrowding particularly in border communities, as well as maintenance of dormitories. This is according to Minister of Education the Honourable Priya Manickchand, as she outlined some of the Ministry’s objectives for regions 1,6,7,8 and 9 in an exclusive radio interview on EdYou FM’s Hinterland Spotlight with Mr Marti DeSouza.

Marti at Kato Secondary

Overcrowding

New schools are being constructed at various locations in regions 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9 to comfortably accommodate more students and to reduce the distance that learners in remote areas have to travel to access secondary education. Minister Manickchand stated that to ease overcrowding at Port Kaituma, a new primary school will be constructed at Ornik and Imbotero, where there is a significant population of Venezuelan migrants. To better serve migrant learners in border communities, like Imbotero, the Ministry has instituted English as a Second Language (ESL) programme for students and teachers in order to address the language barrier and thereby bridge the learning gap.

To further address the problem of overcrowding, the education Minister announced that several existing schools will be rehabilitated and extended to make room for more learners in those communities. For example, the secondary school in Monkey Mountain in Region 8 will be expanded to accommodate more students, and so will the St. Ninian and Wallaba Primary schools in Region 1. Similar works are being undertaken at Aishalton Secondary and St. Ignatius Secondary in Region 9.

A beautiful afternoon in Region 1

Living Quarters

Additionally, this year the Ministry of Education is looking to improve the living quarters for hinterland students and teachers; new dorms will be constructed and existing dorms will be rehabilitated in accordance with recommendations put forward by UNICEF.

Continued investment in teacher training

Over the last four years, the Government of Guyana has continuously invested in the training of teachers. At present, there are more than a thousand teachers from Regions 1,7,8 and 9 being trained at CPCE.  Teachers from these Regions have been able to access classes right from their various locations utilising virtual learning technology.

The current teachers who reside in the CPCE dorms are those who come from remote areas where there is no internet access, therefore requiring them to attend classes in-person.

Regarding textbooks, Minister Manickchand announced that some of them are being edited and updated to meet the requirements of the new curriculum and to appeal to this new generation of learners. She noted too, that  the Ministry is working towards printing workbooks for the children.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Centres are now being built at Mabaruma in Region 1, Bartica in Region 7, and St. Ignatius in Region 9, enabling students to acquire skills to complement their academic qualifications. TVET also allows those students who are not academically inclined the opportunity to acquire profitable skills, which will set them on a path to success.

Entering a riverine community in Region 1

 


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