…as Ministry awaits passage of new Education Bill
In order to raise awareness about the new Education Bill, the Ministry of Education has commenced training for Private Education Institutions as part of a series of such undertakings.
This move, according to information coming out from the Education Ministry, is being undertaken through its Planning Unit, in order to update its database on private schools.
Already training sessions have started with private schools in Region Four and additional sessions commenced Wednesday in Region Six.
According to the Ministry, dates for the start of training sessions with private schools in Georgetown and other Regions will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Ministry in a statement, Wednesday, said that it is inviting all private education institutions to make contact with the Department of Education in their respective Regions to ensure that their schools are on the list of participants.
Through the training sessions, the Ministry is gearing to provide those operating private schools with relevant details that will be required based on the new Bill.
The Bill provides for the inspection of private educational Institutions with a view to their being granted a permit to operate; establishment of Parent Teacher Associations and granting permits issued by the Minister for the institution or school. This Act therefore, applies to every private educational institution or private school providing all or any of the following educational services: (a) pre-primary education; (b) primary education; (c) secondary education; (d) special education; (e) instructional services in general education at the tertiary level; (f) instructional services in vocational education; and (g) training at the secondary, tertiary and adult levels.
Although the Bill was laid for the first time in the National Assembly in June 2014, its passage has since been stalled.
It was specifically crafted to replace an archaic Education Act which was first passed in 1876 and later amended in 1976. Minister of Education Priya Manickchand highlighted recently that once passed, the new Act will see a sharper focus on the rights of children and their responsibilities in the school system, as well as the rights and responsibilities of teachers,.
She spoke of the proposed Act also directing attention to the operations of Parent Teacher Associations and the Ministry’s Departments.
She explained too, “It will reconcile the constitutional provision that allows for private schools to be opened and managed; and for people to attend private schools within our historic only public school system. So the Bill is extremely important to address modern education needs in Guyana…and we look forward to the passage of that Bill.”
In essence, the Minister said that the Bill will serve to cater to things that “we did not know would be realities when we passed the last one in 1876.”
The Bill was crafted following consultations with stakeholders across the country, and seeks to reform the legal framework of education in Guyana and provide an effective system of education related to the needs of the people.
And since Article 149H (1) of the Constitution mandates that every child is entitled to free primary and secondary education in schools owned or funded by the State, the Bill makes provision for such a realisation, which is however subjected “to available resources of the State and the availability of educational facilities to all persons in Guyana.”
Also contained in the Bill are provisions for ensuring free education to all persons and a component that speaks to quality education at all levels, both in public as well as private schools, and other educational institutions in Guyana.
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