The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved on Monday additional financing of US$13.5 million to support the ongoing Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project.
The project, which aims to improve teaching in mathematics and increase enrollment in secondary schools, will provide equipment and training to support innovative technology-assisted education delivery methods. The additional financing will also be used to complete construction of two secondary schools, supply resources for those schools, and build a new secondary school.
“Guyana’s education sector has made significant progress in the last decade; however, strengthening learning outcomes remains a priority and the pandemic is hitting the education sector hard. Through the ongoing project, we are pleased to support the government in piloting use of technology and innovative ways of teaching, which are particularly relevant during distance learning. The new financing will support the pilot of a “smart classroom” initiative to help the sector build back better from the pandemic,” said Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Resident Representative for Jamaica and Guyana.
The additional financing will also provide more resources to an existing pilot program that uses adaptive learning software on tablets for mathematics education. The project emphasizes use of technology and higher quality math education, both of which are important to prepare Guyanese students for future employment.
Capacity building for teachers is an important component of the project to improve the quality of secondary education. The project is also supporting construction of secondary schools in Regions 3 and 4, which include nearly 30 percent of the country’s secondary school population and over 40 percent of the population living in poverty. Access to high-quality secondary schools can reduce overcrowding, improve learning conditions, and contribute to increasing enrollment.
The Guyana Secondary Education Project, which was approved in 2014, has been extended to 2023 to ensure the successful completion of all the activities. The original project has already developed mathematics standards for secondary school teachers, supported mathematics training for over 600 teachers, and distributed 200 mathematics teaching kits.
Guyana receives interest-free financing from the International Development Association (IDA), with a maturity of 40 years, including a grace period of 10 years. The World Bank also approved support for Guyana’s health response to COVID-19 in November 2020. (World Bank press release)