Latest update May 31st, 2023 3:04 PM
May 16, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – The Ministry of Education is poised to benefit from a US$5M grant from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) with management of the funds provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The grant will go towards strengthening instructional and cultural leadership across several schools in an effort to help ensure the successful transformation of Guyana’s education system.
The specific objectives of the programme are to: strengthen school and district leadership and improve sector management. These objectives will be achieved through funding for the following components:
The project is expected to target 10 Regional Education District Officers (RDEOs), officials at the Ministry of Education, and the 445 primary and 116 secondary school leaders in Guyana. They will receive orientation and guidance on their roles and responsibilities. As a result, students will benefit from better prepared school leaders and REDOs.
Disbursements for this project are expected to start by the fourth quarter of 2023 with implementation in 2024.
Speaking to the justification of the project funding, the IDB said culturally responsive leaders at school and district levels are essential for building “inclusive schooling environment for students and families from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds”. The bank said too that leaders constitute critical change agents to improve learning outcomes. It said the programme’s strategy therefore aims to lead education transformation in Guyana by addressing several challenges.
The IDB pointed out for example that one of the problems Guyana faces in developing human capital is the unequal delivery of educational services across regions. The bank said stakeholder consultations highlight that disparities experienced by riverine and hinterland regions in human, material and financial resources are attributable to remoteness and difficult terrain, high cost of living and limited technology in these regions. It was also attributed to inefficiencies and inconsistencies in resource allocation and distribution mechanisms. Inclusion of vulnerable groups of students is therefore not sufficiently prioritized, the bank observed. It also noted that the allocation of resources and financing of the sector should be revisited to better address regional differences.
Turning its attention to education data, it was keen to note that the Education Ministry produces annual statistical reports on a regular basis and has information on nationally representative large-scale learning assessments, sex-disaggregated attendance and achievement data. Be that as it may, the bank said more information is needed on key education statistics disaggregated by disability status, sector-wide performance assessments, system diagnoses and gender analysis and diagnostics. To be effective and culturally responsive, it said school and district leaders need: (i) timely, accessible, comprehensive, disaggregated student participation and achievement data; (ii) accurate data on the availability and quality of infrastructure, learning materials and human resources; (iii) adequate access to technology or alternative solutions; and (iv) the ability to use technology and to analyze data for evidence-based decision-making.
The Education Sector Plan of the Ministry of Education identifies improving governance and accountability as one key priority to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the education sector. The ministry has since embarked on projects to address fundamental challenges to the education sector, including teacher training, curriculum reform, connectivity and the establishment of an Education Management Information System (EMIS). The IDB said these efforts are unlikely to yield maximum results if issues such as low leadership capacity at district and school levels, existing inequities in the distribution of human, financial and material resources, and inefficiencies in coordination and management of the education sector remain unaddressed.
The IDB was keen to note that the proposed operation will complement its ongoing efforts as well as those with different development partners.
Kaieteur News understands that the IDB is preparing an operation Support for Educational Recovery and Transformation (GY-L1079) which focuses on addressing the existing infrastructure gap in primary education across regions, providing schools in remote areas with improved basic infrastructure (i.e., water, energy), connectivity and digital devices, and supporting the MOE in expanding services to students with special education needs.
In parallel, the World Bank has four operations in execution that focus on improving the teaching of math in primary education and secondary education, improving learning at the early childhood education level and the EMIS, and expanding access to technical and vocational education (TVET).
The Caribbean Development Bank and Caricom also support the ministry in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic through the Model Learning Recovery and Enhancement Programme for Caribbean Schools (REAP).
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