COI into Education sector consults with communities in region one, Bartica and RDCs
The Commission of Inquiry set up to examine the state of the Education System has heard from the people of thirty communities in Barima-Waini –Region 1, over three days of consultations in the Region.
Schools in Lower Mazaruni—Region 7; and Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) were also part of the consultation exercise.
The Commission documented a number of issues identified by community representatives, most of which bore similarities across the Sub Districts. Among the issues raised was a call for school buildings to have the same design and for each school to cater to the needs of children with disabilities.
Concerns were raised about the frequent delays in responding to applications for persons to fill teaching vacancies as it creates a gap in ensuring that children are provided with the best chance of keeping up with the curriculum.
The community of Kewabana has asked the Education Department and the Regional Democratic Council to consider constructing a new school to cater for the growing population in the area. In Addition to this, persons have also raised the issue of lack of electricity and inadequate technology to facilitate the completion of schemes of work and reports by teachers. Such would also be necessary for research by both teachers and students.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, September 21, at St. John the Baptist Primary School, Bartica, the Commission met with representatives from seventeen schools from the Lower-Mazaruni including Itabali, Two Miles, Makouria, Kartabo, Hill View, Bartica, and Three Miles.
Representations were made for the establishment of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Centres in the Region, establishment of child-friendly classrooms, hiring of special education teachers, opportunities for long-distance higher education from the University of Guyana, and improved recreational facilities at schools.
In both Regions stakeholders recommended that the literacy programme be revised with the view to making it reflective of the needs of the children in the Regions.
The Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Regions 1 and 7 also had their opportunity to convey to the Commission their recommendations of how education can improve in their communities. Councillors recommended that schools in the Regions should be constructed using concrete instead of wood due to the fact that it is costly to repair the wooden buildings.
Councillors also said that the lack of teachers severely affect education in the Regions.
The Commission of Inquiry was established to gather evidential data to support the strengthening of the Education Sector Plan.
To date, the COI has heard from stakeholders from the University of Guyana, Cyril Potter College of Education, CIOG, The University of Southern Caribbean, The School of The Nations, Guyana Teachers, Union, The Guyana Society of Jesus and a number of individuals with an interest in improving education in Guyana.
The Commission is also in receipt of written submissions detailing ways in which the sector can develop.
In October, the COI will consult with stakeholders in: Region 10—6th and 7th ; Region 2 -10th to the 12th ; Region 9 –14th to 17th; Regions 5 and 6- 20th and 22nd respectively; and Region 3 –26th and 27th.
Persons who wish to contribute in writing are welcome to do so. Submissions can be sent via email to [email protected] or to the Commission of Inquiry Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Department of Culture Youth and Sport, 71 Main Street, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown.