COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$3.5 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key document: Application and program document

The US$3.5 million grant supports:

  • providing learning materials and additional resources to vulnerable groups in the hinterland, deep riverine and remote coastal regions, to ensure continuity of learning for those unable to access digital formats. This includes home-based learning packages, interactive radio and television lessons, pre-loaded flash drives with content suitable to different levels, bilingual alternatives for Venezuelan refugees, and guidance for teachers and parents on their use.
  • increased access to online learning for vulnerable communities around the capital by providing internet infrastructure and access to online platforms, as well as devices and training for teachers and education officers to support the delivery of online learning.
  • the well-being and safety of children once schools re-open through sensitization programs and media campaigns, psychosocial support, WASH programs, the provision of protective equipment in vulnerable areas, and sanitation rounds for all schools.
  • an assessment on learning loss to address learning gaps from the pandemic.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Guyana received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in planning its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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.

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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.
Allocation: US$7,000,000
Years: 2021
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$0

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 Utilization Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020-2021 3,500,000 2,159,178 UNICEF  
Program implementation and multiplier 2021 7,000,000 0 WB  
Program implementation 2015-2018 1,698,273 1,698,273 WB Completion report
2004-2012 32,919,857 32,919,857 WB Completion report
Sector plan development 2013-2015 250,000 250,000 WB  
Program development 2020-2021 200,000 0 WB  
2013-2015 200,000 200,000 WB  
  Total 45,768,130 37,227,308    
Data last updated: May 04, 2021

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Guyana, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.

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

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP

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 June 08, 2020