The Government of Guyana has expressed a strong commitment to improving education systems, noting the importance of education in allowing Guyanese society to adapt to changing needs and demands. In 2022 President Irfaan Ali committed to increasing education spending to 6% of Guyana’s GDP and 20% of the national budget.
Investment in the education sector is vital to address a series of challenges that the country currently faces. Although primary and secondary education is free, other costs associated with attending school currently contribute to poor student retention rates, with socio-economically disadvantaged and male students particularly vulnerable to dropping out.
Attainment levels within the country also remain low, with less than 50% of students passing their English and Mathematics National Grade Two Assessment, and an even lower pass rate in Grade Four Assessments.
In order to tackle these challenges within the education sector, the Ministry of Education’s Education Sector Plan 2021-2025 sets out a vision to provide opportunities for quality education for all. To achieve this, 5 strategic goals are outlined:
- Improving governance and accountability
- Improving performance at all levels
- Improving the efficiency of the Education System
- Reducing inequities in Education
- Contributing to lifelong learning and employability
The ESP also stresses the importance of monitoring and evaluation, noting its importance for accountability and transparency, as well as ensuring that policies and programming are data-driven.
In addition to the ESP, Guyana has also developed a Partnership Compact with GPE. The compact is designed to support the continued transformation of the Guyanese education system.
Noting that district and school leaders currently lack clear guidance, training, and professional development opportunities, the compact sets out to address these issues. The key priority of the Partnership Compact is therefore:
‘Strengthening Instructional Leadership at District and School levels: Promote equitable learning by strengthening culturally responsive and effective instructional leadership and improved accountability at the district and school levels.’