At the Precious Gems Nursery, located in the region of Bartica, Guyana, teachers are making learning fun. In the school playground, students stand in front of the teacher who is throwing them a small ball. Every student has the strained look of concentration: they must catch the ball with their hands and not let it fall. This exercise is important for children’s development as it helps them improve motor skills while enhancing hand-eye coordination.
Walking into the school we see teachers and students sitting in a semicircle singing and dancing. In an adjacent classroom, students are learning the alphabet. Using a piece of playdough, they must follow the shape of the letter “A” which has been written with chalk by their teacher on the table. The school walls are painted in bright colors and display several learning resources such as posters, drawings, and pictures, reflecting the school values and celebrating children’s learning.
Similar scenarios in other preschools were observed throughout our visit to Guyana. Our objective was to observe the impact of the GPE-funded program, implemented under the leadership of the government of Guyana and with support from the World Bank. The program focused on improving literacy and numeracy skills for children in preschool through grade 1 in remote hinterland regions.