With a recorded 2,669 students having dropped out of school during the 2016-2017 academic year, President David Granger says his Government will focus heavily on technical-vocational education and promote self-employment so that more young people can earn an income.
Speaking at the Cuffy 250 State of the African-Guyanese Forum at the Critchlow Labour College on Sunday, the Head-of-State was alarmed at the large number of students who are not accessing an education.
There is a dropout rate of seven students daily of which five are from public schools, President Granger said.
Mr Granger, who often speaks passionately about education, noted that school dropouts lead to unemployment, which currently stands at an estimated 12%, of which 21% are young people.
With more than 3,000 persons enrolled in technical institutes across the country, the President said his Government will push for children to be introduced to this alternate form of education.
“It is for this reason that a lot of emphasis is being placed on education, particularly technical and vocational education…this is a means of building capacity of getting young people into the world of work, particularly the people who are now being described as NEET- that is young persons who are Not in Education Employment or Training,” the Head of State noted.
He also committed to expanding the number of training centres and institutes across the country so that more persons who are ‘NEET’ could be inducted, “so that they could enter the world of work and not remain unemployed.”
Another aspect which needs addressing is students’ access to education and in this regard, President Granger underscored the importance of his three Bs initiative where he has distributed a total of 1100 bicycles, 27 buses and 9 boats since 2015, so children can get to school, free of charge.
The Head of State noted that there are many social ills affecting the country which cannot be addressed by the Government alone.
Saying it serves no purpose denying the existence of these problems, President Granger called on non-governmental organisations, religious groups, corporate Guyana and civil society to play a greater role in solving these problems.