Guyana received a US$1.7 million grant from GPE to improve the quality of early childhood education in several regions. Education Minister Nicolette Henry emphasized the significant impact that this...
This week, the Guyana early childhood education project sponsored a workshop on early childhood education. During this workshop, the importance of children starting school early was stressed. The...
A girl writes in a school in Guyana. Credit: GPE/Tara O'Connell
September 30, 2016
Guyana has just launched a new mass media campaign called “Read. Play. Love”, featuring the nation’s national leaders and heroes, focused on promoting early childhood education.

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.


All amounts are in US dollars.

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


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.


Primary Gross Enrollment Rate (%)

Primary Completion Rate (%)

Lower Secondary Completion Rate (%)

Out-of-school Children Rate (%)

Domestic Financing

Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)

Public Expenditure on Education as a Share of Public Expenditure (%)

Public Expenditure on Primary as a Share of Total Education Expenditure (%)


Student/Trained teacher ratio

Teachers Trained (%)

GPE in Guyana

A school girl in Guyana looks at the camera. Credit: GPE/Tara O'connell

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


The US$1.7 million GPE grant awarded to Guyana contributed to the achievement of the following results:

  • The percentage of nursery students attaining at least “Approaching Mastery” level of emergent literacy has increased from 39.58% in 2016 to 68.30% in 2017
  • The percentage of nursery students attaining at least “Approaching Mastery” level of emergent numeracy has increased from 41.91% in 2016 to 77.03% in 2017
  • The 509 nursery and primary grade 1 teachers have been trained in the hinterland regions and remote riverine areas
  • 550 learning resource kits have been distributed to schools in targeted areas, and 78.60% of teachers utilized the kits during post-training classroom observations
  • A mass media campaign which promotes active primary caregiver involvement in nursery school-aged children’s literacy and numeracy development was developed and implemented.

Source: World Bank Implementation Status and Results Report – October 2017

Last updated January 26, 2018