Education in Guyana

In the last decade, Guyana has made important progress in improving access to education at all levels, by increasing the number of trained teachers, providing more access to interactive technology, in particular computers, and upgrading physical facilities.

Despite this progress, Guyana’s education system is still recovering from years of underinvestment and faces many challenges, including quality and equity of early childhood education services, teaching quality, and accessing reliable education data.

From 2006 to 2012, public sector allocations to education averaged 3.8% of GDP.

Guyana’s education sector plan (ESP) 2014-2018 outlines two priorities:

  • Increasing learning outcomes for all levels of education and all sub-groups.
  • Decreasing the differences in learning outcomes between sub-groups, especially between students in coastal and hinterland schools. The learning outcomes of primary concern are literacy and numeracy, followed by science and technology.

The plan’s outcome indicators include:

  • Increasing the percentage of grade 4 students who master literacy to 50% by 2018
  • Increasing the proportion of grade 6 students who earn 50% or more in core subjects to 40%
  • Improving the percentage of students who pass tests in math, English and Science in public secondary schools to 60%.

The ESP adopts various strategies to address quality and equity issues, such as strengthening literacy and numeracy programs, increasing the number of trained teachers, improving the school environment, targeting of interventions to disadvantaged groups and strengthening sector governance and management.

Blogs and news

With GPE’s support, children in disadvantaged areas of Guyana are building the foundation for better learning.
The closing ceremony of the Guyana early childhood education project was marked by the impressions of several partners and testimonies of program beneficiaries.
Leroy Phillips, an education youth advocate for GPE, reflects on his early years after losing his vision, stigma and the programs and mentors that allowed him to thrive today.

Latest grant

Development objective: Improve emergent literacy and numeracy outcomes for children at the nursery level and primary grade one in hinterland regions and targeted remote riverine areas.
Grant agent:IBRD

Given that Guyana has made great progress on the goal of universal primary education and remains committed to achieving universal secondary education by 2020, the country’s focus has shifted to strengthening the foundation for learning through investments in early childhood education.

The overall objective of the project funded by the US$1.7 million GPE grant is to improve emergent literacy and numeracy outcomes for children at the nursery level and primary grade 1 in hinterland regions and targeted remote riverine areas.

The main priorities are:

  1. Capacity building for nursery and grade 1 teachers by strengthening teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogy, particularly for the implementation of new strategies for the development of emergent literacy and numeracy skills.
  2. Improving supply of teaching and learning materials by:
    • Providing early childhood education resource kits to all nursery and grade 1 classes.
    • Monitoring and evaluating the use and impact of the early childhood education resource kits provided.
  3. Providing parent/caregiver education by:
    • Carrying out community consultations of parental and/or caregiver involvement in education in selected project areas.
    • Carrying out parent seminars as part of school parent/teacher association meetings and/or parent-teacher conferences.
    • Providing early childhood education resource kits, to promote literacy and reading for community members including children.
    • Developing and carrying out a mass media campaign to reinforce the role of parents in promoting their children’s development of emergent literacy and numeracy skills.
  4. Providing support to the project implementation by:
    • Carrying out project audits.
    • Carrying out the financial management and procurement requirements under the project.
    • Monitoring and evaluation of project activities.
    • Financing operating costs.

The coordinating agency is the World Bank, which also acts as grant agent.

Source: World Bank Project Appraisal Document. May 2015


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2015-2018 1,700,000 1,700,000 IBRD Progress report
2004-2012 32,919,857 32,919,857 IBRD Completion report
Sector plan development 2013 250,000 227,695 IBRD
Program development 2013 200,000 198,677 IBRD
  TOTAL 35,069,857 35,046,229    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Guyana. For detailed results from GPE funding, please look for progress reports in the grants section.


Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated September 26, 2018