Guyanese top student to participate in UN talks on transforming education


Samuel Haynes, the Guyanese student who topped the region at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) in 2021, will be participating in global education talks organised by the United Nations (UN) next week in Paris, France.

Haynes, the 19-year-old former Queen’s College student, will be attending a pre-summit event hosted ahead of the “Transforming Education Summit” that will be held in New York in September. He was selected by the government to participate in these talks.

At this pre-summit, the young man is expected to underscore the importance of education, particularly in developing countries like Guyana which have been beset by challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a past student, I can offer a lot of advice on what can be done to improve education around the world so that our future generations can benefit,” Haynes told the News Room on Wednesday.

Samuel Haynes collecting an award for outstanding performance from Chief Education Officer (CEO) Dr. Marcel Hutson at a prize-giving ceremony on Wednesday (Photo: Ministry of Education/ June 22, 2022)

Education Minister Priya Manickchand, who announced Haynes’ participation during an event on Wednesday, later told reporters that the local authorities are keen on offering solutions based on Guyana’s experiences.

“It’s the first time that the UN Secretary-General [António Guterres] is convening a summit to discuss transforming education in the world.

“…we’ve already done a series of consultations on how we can transform education in Guyana,” Manickchand said while engaging the media.

The Summit, according to information from the UN, seeks to mobilise political ambition, action, solutions and solidarity to transform education, particularly cognisant of the challenges that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education has been disrupted by the pandemic since schools were forced to close to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This led to numerous complications including concerns of learning losses such as school dropouts.

And the UN hopes that the global talks can assess efforts employed to recover pandemic-related learning losses, help reimagine education systems and revitalise national and global efforts at achieving universal quality education.

In Guyana’s case, Manickchand reminded the public that a raft of initiatives had been implemented to help curtail losses from the pandemic due to varying educational disparities.

These initiatives include providing much-needed learning material to all students, and creating and disseminating multimedia content

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