Pupil to Teacher ratio in Region Seven “too high”- Parents, Teachers
One of the major concerns raised by residents and teachers from Region Seven in relation to the delivery of education in the Region includes a “too high” pupil-teacher ratio.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Education, a team from the Ministry met with Head teachers, teachers, parents and officials from the Region 7 Department of Education recently to listen to their issues as the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the education sector continues.
“Several speakers stated that the pupil-teacher ratio ‘was too high’ and did not allow for effective supervision,” the statement said.
In this regard, a recommendation was made for the Nursery level the teacher-pupil ratio should be 1:15; Primary 1:20; and Secondary 1:30.
Additionally, calls were made for the Ministry to bring secondary schools in the Region up to par with those on the coast by ensuring that the curriculum included technical subjects such as Home Economics, Wood Working, and Information Technology.
Other recommendations included the need for welfare officers to cater to the needs of both teachers and students; disbursement of benefits before retirement age; introduction of Amerindian languages in the school’s curriculum; more support to address the high cost of living in the Region; need for special education teachers; and opportunities be presented to allow persons to pursue studies at the University of Guyana via the distance mode.
The consultation was held at the Kamarang Primary School. Some of the schools and communities represented included Phillipai, Kako, Jawalla, Waramadong, Quebanang Wax Creek, Paruima, and Imbamadai.
Region Seven is the first Hinterland Region that the COI has engaged so far.
Meanwhile, Regional Education Officer (R.Ed.O), Mr. Charles Holmes, in highlighting a few of the successful initiatives implemented by the Ministry, said that the hot meal programme has been successful in the region. He said that 11 of 16 schools have access to computer labs and plans are ongoing to ensure that the remaining schools have access by the end of 2016. Teachers in the Region are encouraged to utilise Information and Communication Technology to aid their work especially as it relates to the timely completion of reports and lesson plans.
Public consultations are scheduled to be held in Region 1—Port Kaituma, Mabaruma, and Moruca from September 14-17, 2016.
The Guyana Teachers’ Union, representatives from Religious Organisations, private education institutions, the University of Guyana, Cyril Potter College of Education and a number of Individuals have made recommendations to the Commission thus far.
The COI commenced in April of this year and is expected to conclude in December 2016.