Weaknesses in the education system will be identified and corrected when a Systemic Country Diagnostic is conducted. This crucial undertaking is one that will be spearheaded by the World Bank.
According to Director of the Bank, Ms. Tahseen Sayed Khan, plans are moving apace to have the Systemic Country Diagnostic done on Guyana in addition to the production of a Country Strategy. According to Khan, these are necessary to inform both Guyana and the World Bank of possible areas and sectors that may require assistance.
Moreover, the recently appointed World Bank Director assured Education Minister, Ms. Nicolette Henry, that when the Systemic Country Diagnostic is conducted, the education system will be included. She explained that this approach will help to identify and correct weak areas in the education system.
Khan’s disclosure was forthcoming Monday during a courtesy call on the Minister of Education at her Brickdam, Georgetown office. Khan was accompanied by other World Bank officials including Ms. Galina Sotirova, Country Manager for Guyana and Jamaica; Mr. Pierre Nadji, Senior Country Officer for Guyana and Suriname and World Bank Education Specialist for the Caribbean, Ms. Hongyu Yang.
During the engagement, the World Bank officials expressed satisfaction with the current relationship that exists between the Ministry of Education and the World Bank. In fact the Regional Director commended the work done by Minister Henry, noting that the projects that are funded by the World Bank are now moving at a much faster rate.
Khan, moreover, revealed that the World Bank is ready and willing to continue its support to the public education system.
Currently, the World Bank is funding the Ministry of Education’s Secondary School Improvement Project [SSIP] which is ongoing. Khan expressed satisfaction with the programme and added that the World Bank will continue to provide assistance to the Ministry, if and when approached.
As such, during the meeting, the Education Minister apprised the four officials about some pressing work the Ministry is currently undertaking. She made reference to the Special Education Needs [SEN] programme that is now being vigorously pursued by the Ministry.
In this regard, Minister Henry informed the officials that although previously much emphasis was not placed in the area of SEN, this approach has changed under her watch. The World Bank officials committed to assisting where possible, and were in high praise for the posture taken by Minister Henry on SEN.
The officials also discussed how the World Bank can assist the Ministry with the technical support in the area of project management and implementation. Khan noted that her organisation with years of experience in this area will provide the necessary training and support to aid in this regard. This, she said, will assist the Ministry greatly as it implements and plans for projects.
Also up for discussion was the use of technology in the delivery of education. The Director said she is aware that Guyana’s unique terrain poses some challenges in terms of connectivity and has committed to approaching companies operating out of the highly regarded Silicon Valley to assist Guyana in this area.
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