Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Part I: Methodology and Framework...
 Part II: The Mission, Strategic...
 Part III: The Plan Itself
 Part IV: Feasibility of the...
 The Guiding Vision of the Plan

Title: Ministry of Education Planning Unit : strategic plan, 2003-2007
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084195/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ministry of Education Planning Unit : strategic plan, 2003-2007
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Guyana. Ministry of Education. Planning Unit.
Publication Date: 2002
Subject: Education
Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: South America -- Guyana -- Georgetown
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084195
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page ii
    List of Tables
        Page iii
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Part I: Methodology and Framework of the Plan
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Part II: The Mission, Strategic Issues, and Priorities Identified in the Consulation Process
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Part III: The Plan Itself
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Part IV: Feasibility of the Plan
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    The Guiding Vision of the Plan
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
Full Text


JUNE 2002

Strategic Plan
2003 2007



Assistant Chief Education Officer
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Basic Education & Management Support (Project)
Caribbean Community
Community High School
Cyril Potter College of Education
Chief Planning Officer
Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate
Department for International Development
Early Childhood Education
Escuela Nueva
Guyana Basic Education Teachers' Training
Gross Domestic Product
Guyana Education Access Project
Guyana Economic Management Programme
Guyana Poverty Reduction Strategy
Guyana Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
Guyana Inservice Distance Education Programme
Health & Family Life Education
Human Resource Development
Inter-American Development Bank
Interactive Radio Instruction
Management Information Systems
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Finance
National Advisory Committee on Education
National Centre for Education Resource Development
National Development Strategy
Organisation of American States
Primary School Improvement Project
Practical Instruction Centre
Public Service Ministry
Parent Teachers Association
Planning Unit Task Team
School Improvement Action Committees
Social Impact Amelioration Programme
School Improvement Plan
School Mapping Exercise
Strategic Planning Committee
Secondary School Reform Programme
Skills Training & Employment Programme
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats
Teaching Service Commission
Technical and Vocational Education and Training
University of Guyana
United Nations Education, Scientific & Cultural Organisation
Universal Secondary Education


A. Steps in the Development of the Plan 3
B. Overview of the Education Sector 5
C. Analysis of the Sector 9
D. Existing Initiatives 14
A. Mission Statement & Mandates of MoE 18
B. Strategic Issues as Grouped 19
C. Prioritising the Priorities 21
A. Changing Emphases of Actions 28
B. The Plan as a Unitary Whole 29
C. The Plan as Planning System 43
A. The Financial Cost 46
B. Funding of the Plan 49
The Guiding Vision of the Plan 51
1: Strategies Proposed in Consultations 53
2: Major MoE Projects 61


Table 1 Phases of the consultation meetings 4

Table 2 Agenda of the consultations 5

Table 3 Phases in the development of the
education system 6

Table 4 Percentage coverage at each level 7

Box 1 Goals established at Dakar 10

Box 2 Other Policy Documents guiding the Plan 14

Table 5 Similarities and convergences -
GPRS and MOE strategic issues 21

Figure 1 The hierarchy of priorities 23

Figure 2 Prerequisites for implementation
of actions and programmes 24

Figure 3 Academic or management means
to achieve desired outcomes 25

Figure 4 The hierarchy of strategic issues
which are objectives in themselves 26

Figure 5 Prerequisites, means and ends 27

Table 6 Annual emphases of the plan 28

Figure 6 How the planning system will work 45

Table 7 Education as a percentage of the
national budget 46

Table 8 Annual percentage changes in
allocations to education 47

Table 9 Projected resources, expenditure
and shortfalls 50


Education has been signalled as a national priority. The National
Development Strategy (NDS) document and the Guyana Poverty Reduction
Strategy Paper (GPRSP) contain clear statements to this effect. There is
considerable agreement in the society that the road to national
development can be achieved only through learning and hard work. There
is a profound level of consciousness in the leadership of the country that
it is necessary to improve the human capital of Guyana by giving all
citizens the opportunity to grow to their fullest potential, paving the way to
greater productivity and economic development.

During the past decade the Government has made substantial efforts to
improve the education system. The proportion of the national budget
allocated to education was increased by over ten percent; international
loans from different agencies and bilateral cooperation from some
countries have supported initiatives in the education sector; and some
significant changes have been introduced. In 1995, the Ministry released
the Education Policy Document, outlining several options to improve the
schools and the learning taking place in the country.

In March 2000 a consultant's evaluation of the results of this plan
showed that some significant improvements had been achieved. The report
detailed successes and failures, but overall showed a government and an
education system committed to improving and to ensuring a better future
for the younger generations.

As a continuation of these efforts, a Strategic Planning Committee (SPC)
was formed under the leadership of the Chief Planning Officer (CPO) of the
Ministry of Education (MoE) to develop a strategic plan covering the period
from 2003 to 2007. Twelve officers from various levels and departments in
the Ministry were charged with developing the new plan and outlining the
direction that the Ministry should follow during this five-year period. The
work of this team was also supported by an international consultant.

The consultation process which was part of the planning process was
extensive. Trips were completed to each of the regions, and experts from
different sectors and members of civil society were invited to participate in
various meetings and task teams. The process in itself must be considered
a great achievement.

The outcome of all this work was not only a written plan, but the
development of a strategic planning system that could respond to the

implementation of the plan by generating the evaluations, the new
thinking, and the adaptations required by its results.

To facilitate a full understanding of the plan and the process that led to it,
this document has been structured into four parts. The first outlines the
methodogy used in developing the plan and the framework in which the
process took place; the second part presents the mission, strategic issues,
and priorities identified during the consultations; the third part details the
plan itself; and the fourth part discusses its feasibility.




The process of formulating the strategic plan was designed as a
participatory experience. The Ministry of Education was committed to
having all levels of the education system and all stakeholders participate
in and contribute to the evolution of a plan which would define the
general direction and activities that the Ministry would assume for the
period ahead.

The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) directed the process, supported
by the international consultant specifically commissioned for the task. A
Planning Unit Task Team (PUTT) was created to perform the technical
work which the process required.

The major steps in developing the plan, some of which ran parallel to each
other, began inside the MoE with discussions on strategic versus nominal
planning, following which the process of clarifying the organisational
mission and values of the MoE and the education sector began.

The MoE then started an analysis of the present situation of the Ministry.
PUTT members participated in developing assessments of the different
levels of the system. Another major contribution was the final report from
the MacRae Mason Development firm which evaluated the performance
of the Ministry in relation to Education Development Plan (1995 2000).
The 12 members of the PUTT and the 16 members of the SPC also took
part in a SWOT1 session designed to complete this assessment process.

Once the mission and mandates of the MoE had been redefined and the
situation of the Ministry and the education sector as a whole had been
analysed, it was possible to identify the strategic issues of the MoE.
Again, PUTT members made the first attempt, producing a list of 13
issues. This product was analysed by other officers of the Ministry and by
the SPC. The second draft was then taken to the regions in the first phase
of the consultation process.

Wider SWOT sessions involving the SPC, other members of the MoE and
Regional Education Officers (RedOs) further developed the analysis of

1 SWOT is a widely used acronym for Strengths, Weaknnesses, Opportunities and Threats.

strengths and weaknesses in the system and the opportunities and
threats it faced.

In a second round of meetings in the regions, participants were asked to
formulate strategies to best face the challenges of the education sector.
Again, with hundreds of participants from all over the country, many
options were proposed: these are summarised at Appendix 1. Following a
parallel process, 13 strategy development groups were formed in
Georgetown with 80 persons, selected as national experts, participating in
a similar task: these groups took the proposals by the communities into
account. Many valuable ideas were developed during this effort,
completely based on voluntary participation. In the final phase of regional
consultations, a draft plan outlining viable options for the Ministry to
pursue was taken back to selected groups in the regions for their

The consultation meetings were organised to bring a wide cross-section of
stakeholders' voices into the strategic planning process, with parents
being specifically invited. As shown below, the activities were divided into
three phases:

Table 1: Phases of the consultation meetings2

Phase Meetings Objective
11 regional meetings To discuss the strategic
11 regional meetings
First (incl g G) issues proposed by the
First (including Georgetown)
MoE and identify the major
challenges of the MoE.
11 r l m To give stakeholders an
11 regional meetings
opportunity to suggest
(including Georgetown) opportunity to suggest
strategies that would
1 meeting with represen- strategies that would
Second tties o ciil siet enable MoE to successfully
tatives of civil society 1
face the challenges
and other units of the
So t identified as strategic
Government) issues.
11 regional meetings To allow a selected group in
Third (including Georgetown) each meeting to analyse the
To formulate a strategic
Total 34 meetings plan in a participatory

Participants in each region were invited through their local authorities,
and each regional office was responsible for the coordination of the

2 All regional consultations were organised by the Regional Education Officers (REdOs), who also
selected members of the groups which analysed the document during phase 3 (see the table).

meeting in its region. During the encounters, each lasting at least two
hours, there was a fruitful exchange of views, and the general impression
was that people in the regions were very receptive and willing to
participate in the efforts being made to improve the schools. The agenda of
the meetings followed these general lines:

Table 2: Agenda of the consultations

The meeting with representatives from civil society and other units of the
Government (see Table 1 above) served a dual purpose: one, to provide
these sectors with an opportunity to contribute to the development of the
strategic plan of the MoE, and two, to provide the MoE with an
opportunity to be in contact with the sectors and to make its views known
to them.

By the end of the whole process, the Ministry of Education had developed
more than a written plan; it had developed a system3 designed to face the
challenges of the future, fully capable of adapting to any changes which
might become necessary during these years. At the completion of the plan
period, the system will be rolled over into the next planning cycle,
permitting the Ministry to build on the successes of these five years.


Since 1966, there have been four discernible phases in the evolution of the
education system:5

3 This system will be explained in the second part of the document.
4 All education figures are taken from the relevant Digests of Educational Statistics.
5 See Macrae Mason Development. Review of the Ministry of Education's 5-Year Education
Development Plan 1995-2000. Draft report. March 2001. Mimeo. P. 9.

Time Activity
4:00 pm Introduction of participants.
Explanation of the objectives of the meeting.
4:30 Outline of the strategic planning process and
the issues to be considered.
5:00 Group discussions.
General sessions: presentation of the results
5:50 6.15g
of the groups.

Table 3: Phases in the development of the education system

6 Development of an indigenous curriculum.
Expansion of educational opportunities.
19761990 Free education.
1976 1990
Extension of access to educational opportunity.
Equality of access.
1990 1995 Increase in capacity to meet manpower
requirements for future economic development.
1995-2000 Free quality education from nursery to age 16
1995 2000
(Basic Education).

Within these phases, following almost universal trends in the region,
Guyana's educational effort has had three major emphases.

1. Free Access to Formal Education for All

Compulsory education was introduced in 1876 by the colonial
government, and in 1976,6 a century later, the commitment to free
education was ratified by the government of independent Guyana. The
national policy has long been to offer children, young people and other
interested persons the opportunity to participate in the educational
process free of cost.

Education is now compulsory for children aged five years and nine
months to 15 years. However, children are expected to remain in
secondary school and/or community high school until they are at least 16
years old, although there are only three years of compulsory secondary

In most of the education system, access in itself is not a great problem.
Statistics show a high level of coverage in the nursery and primary
schools, with a significant increase in secondary institutions. This is a
signal achievement for a poor country whose population, though small, is
distributed over a large land mass. There is room for improvement, but
the data on general access are encouraging, although qualifications have
to be made to the raw figures.7

6 At that time, most countries concentrated their effort on basic education, which was then equivalent
to the primary level. Under the influence of a socialist ideology, Guyana went beyond that, aspiring for
free education for all at all levels.
7 The qualifications mainly concern the quality of the education offered and the results of the service
provided by the schools at the different levels. Problems like attendance and dropout ratios also cast
doubts on the meaning of these numbers.

Table 4: Percentage coverage at each levels

Level Pct. coverage in each level
1994-95 1996-97 1999-00
Nursery 89 94 101
Primary 98 104 101
Secondary 39 679 75

At the post-secondary level, there has been an expansion in continuing
education. In particular, in the Georgetown area, the opportunities for
school dropouts and slow learners to access technical and other types of
programmes are increasing.

2. Equity in Education

The goal of equity in education is to provide all citizens of Guyana, and
especially those of school age, with an educational experience of
comparable quality. This is not an easy task, and the results of recent
efforts are not as positive as they have been in the area of coverage. In
many developing and even developed countries, the most sophisticated
services are found in urban centres, as compared to rural areas where the
population is almost always at a disadvantage. Guyana is no exception.
Following historical trends in the country, most of the population,
infrastructure, services and resources have been concentrated in the
coastal area, particularly in Georgetown. Further, the geography of the
country makes it difficult to travel and communicate with the relatively
isolated communities of the interior. The educational and other services
provided to hinterland and deep riverain regions are clearly below national

The education of children with special needs also demands urgent
attention. Although there have been policy proposals, there is no clear
direction, and efforts to provide services are far from being adequate.

3. Quality of Education

The State Paper on Education Policy (1995) presents the mission of the
Ministry as providing "equal access to all Guyanese children and young
people to quality education"10, but officials from the Ministry and
members of civil society are deeply worried about the situation in this
area. As the civil society representatives put it in the NDS:

8 The figures are gross enrollment ratios based on population estimates from the Statistical Bureau.
9 This percentage is for the academic year 1997-98. The percentage for 1996-97 was not available.
10 p. 5

[A] Number of economic and social factors... have led to a most
unsatisfactory and unacceptable state of affairs: learning rates in
the schools are extremely low; a large proportion of the teaching
force is unqualified and untrained; absenteeism on the part of both
teachers and students is rife; and textbooks and other instructional
materials are often unavailable.

Guyana's success in attaining universal access to primary schools...
has been eroded and has been replaced by rising repetition and
drop out rates. Moreover [there are] alarmingly high levels of
functional illiteracy.11

In addition to the results of external examinations (which, although
improving, are still low), there are other worrisome evaluations of the
quality of education in Guyana. The following is an example:

Primary education is not enough for young adults who have to meet
the demands of today's world. The educational offering of the CHS
[Community High School] is inadequate. A good secondary education
is perhaps the minimum requirement, even though it appears that it
is from a tertiary level of education that young adults are most likely
to acquire the level of functional literacy... This, however, is probably
a function of the erosion of quality in the lower levels of the
education system... "12

The reasons for the poor quality of educational services in the country are
many. A prolonged period of financial constraints and budget cuts has
had many adverse results. A widespread lack of motivation, and perhaps
even the growth of a certain culture of acceptance of prevailing conditions,
have contributed to the development of many undesirable conditions in
classrooms and schools. These are outlined in the next section.

The publication of the 1990 1995 and the 1995 2000 plans provides
evidence of the Ministry's efforts to take a structured approach to
improving educational services. These documents created the necessary
platform to develop a culture of planning in the Ministry and effective
terms of reference for officials in the Ministry to carry out the tasks of
implementation and evaluation.

1 Civil Society of Guyana. National Development Strategy. May 2000, Mimeo, p.197.
12 Zellynne Jennings. Nipped in the Bud. Guyana, Education and Development Services Inc., 1998, p.

There have been significant areas of success in more recent years, many of
which were outlined in the external evaluation performed in 2000.13 But
clearly, much remains to be done.


In the 1960's, Guyana's educational system was considered one of the
best in the Caribbean. Today, it is considered one of the weakest, although
some recovery has been achieved in the last few years: the series of
Educational Development Plans produced since 1990 have helped to
direct that recovery effort. In each of the areas analysed below, there are
both strengths and weaknesses.

1. The National Political Environment and the Availability of

The political environment is favourable to improvements in education. The
Government has emphatically declared and demonstrated its willingness
to allocate increasing amounts of the national budget to education.15 The
sector has been identified as a national priority and a major component in
national development in both the National Development Strategy (NDS)
and the Guyana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS). One of the
developmental strategies identified in the NDS and the GPRS is an
increase in the level of resources allocated to education. Developmental
targets such as the abolition of poverty, the increased acceptance of
diversity, and gender equality contribute to the high emphasis on

With the rise in the level of funds available to the sector, many new
schools have been built and improvements have been made in others. In
general, the level of infrastructure in the system has been upgraded.
Inputs such as books and learning materials reach the schools in greater
numbers, although there are still inadequacies in areas such as Music
and Art Education.

But complaints concerning insufficient resources remain. Moreover,
growing social concerns over AIDS and other health problems could lead
to future reductions in budgetary allocations to education. This is
important, since the percentage of the national budget allocated to

13 Ibidem., Annex E, pps. 1-5.
14 This section is based on the results of the SWOT session mentioned earlier. It is important because
it presents the insights of the most senior officers of the Ministry.
15 The initial increases in expenditure on education (and health) were not financed by the the Highly
Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

education, although rising, has remained below the sum necessary to
cover all educational needs.

Good economic performance is critical to securing more resources for
education. When society cannot provide the new generation with
opportunities to work and develop, motivation in schools is more difficult
and dropout rates generally increase.

2. The International Environment

The international environment is also favourable to prioritising education.
The World Conference on Education for All (EFA) held in Dakar, Senegal
in 2000 saw international agencies, e.g., the World Bank, the Inter-
American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Education,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), commit themselves to
supporting the efforts of developing countries to achieve the goals
established by the Conference (see Box 1). These goals are also supported
by bilateral aid agencies, especially the G8 countries, which have poverty
reduction as a major focus of their donor policy and link poverty
reduction to education.

Box 1: Goals established at Dakar

Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for
the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

Ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances,
and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and are able to complete
education that is free, compulsory and of good quality.

Ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through
equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes.

Achieve a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for
women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.

Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2015, and achieve
gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls' full and equal
access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.

Improve all aspects of the quality of education so that recognized and measurable
learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential
life skills.

There is also an increasing number of regional activities, such as those
organised by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation
of American States (OAS), which allow countries to work together and
learn from each other. Another example is the Regional Early Childhood

Association. International associations which can provide a place for
discussion and elaboration of important educational topics are also a
source of significant contributions.

Because of the funding and cooperation available to Guyana, national and
international experts have been able to contribute to the formulation of
many innovative strategies and concepts that can be of great use in the
future. Pilot projects are a valuable source of new ideas and are being
used as testing grounds for creative initiatives.

The development of so many channels of international exchange of
information and knowledge also provides valuable opportunities to
increase the capabilities and options of the educational sector. Today,
there is ready access to almost all the ideas and initiatives emerging
globally, no matter how far away, through the electronic media.

However, while much of this is encouraging, there are also reasons for
concern. The availability of international support, in itself an opportunity,
can become a threat. International agencies, with the best of intentions,
often have strong views on the policies and types of programmes countries
need. Developing countries like Guyana can be pressured to accept these
policies. As a result, the involvement of these agencies can, to some
extent, change the country's planning process, and place stress on its
administrative structure. There is also a danger of the country taking non-
sustainable strategic options that can be harmful in the long run.

3. Collaboration on the Work of the Sector

There is an increasingly cooperative inter-sectoral environment, with
collaboration now more likely to occur among Ministries such as
Education, Health, and Culture, Youth and Sport. Overall, there is a
willingness to move to a sector-wide approach, which can foster more and
better cooperation among all actors in education.

In spite of this, there is still some dissonance between the MoE and
agencies such as the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Public Service
Ministry (PSM), which have overarching national responsibilities. This can
sometimes lead to problems, for example, less efficient allocation of funds,
bottlenecks in the award of contracts, and delays in filling important
positions within the MoE. In addition, the existing differences in priorities
between the Regional Democratic Councils and the Regional Education
Departments and even the MoE itself, can lead to problems in planning
and budgeting.

As far as collaboration between the MOE and non-government forces is
concerned, there are fairly strong indications that the private sector and

other parts of civil society are willing to work with the Ministry to develop
policies and implement programmes that can generate a more qualified
work force. The level of attendance at the regional consultations and the
keen participation of those attending suggested a resurgence of awareness
of the importance of learning and personal development. Consciousness of
the need to have community and parents' involvement in the schools has
risen significantly, and an effort has been made to structure this
involvement through the creation of School Improvement Action
Committees (SIACs). However, there is still concern about vandalism
and/or a lack of support for protection of the schools in some

4. Management Issues

A great deal of work and thought has gone into the analysis and
improvement of the management procedures, organisational structure and
culture of the Ministry of Education; several consultants have been
involved in this work. As part of this, a significant effort has been made to
analyse jobs and to give staff a clear understanding of their duties. In
general, there are very good relationships between supervisors and other
staff. But major improvements are still needed in order to make the MoE
the efficient and effective agency required to provide the leadership
necessary to improve the educational system. Following are three areas of

a). Access to new technology in the management of the education system
(as in the schools themselves) is limited. While the Ministry has recognized
the necessity of introducing more technology in its daily management and
some steps have been made in this direction, much remains to be done.

b). Another negative element is the tendency to look more at the present
than to plan for the future. Crisis management has become too prevalent.
There are complaints that work is not evenly distributed and that an
overwhelming amount of time is spent in meetings which have no real

c). Other complaints revolve around the lack of a research culture and the
unavailability of current literature in the Ministry. There is also a
perception that the Ministry itself does not function as a learning

5. Personnel Issues

On the positive side, teacher training programmes have been upgraded
and innovative delivery has increased access. Initiatives in secondary and

primary schools to improve commitment and planning at the school level
are evident16.

On the negative side, due to the relatively low salaries that still prevail,
poor working conditions, competition from other sources and a relatively
early age for retirement, there is a shortage of well-qualified and
experienced staff at all levels of MoE departments, regional departments
and schools. In some cases, positions have remained open because it has
not been possible to find adequately qualified candidates.

In particular, the demand for trained teachers and other professionals in
the Caribbean region and other countries threatens the availability of well-
trained staff to Guyana's education system. The present attrition rate for
teachers from Guyana is high and appears to be rising with aggressive
recruitment by other countries.17 The growth of private education could
also become a source of competition in the recruitment of qualified
teachers: this is another factor that could contribute to the shortage of
qualified teachers in public schools.

As regards MoE staff, the Ministry can count on a strong commitment to
education on the part of some employees even in difficult circumstances.
Well-qualified staff, including both young and experienced, are often self-
motivated and show flexibility and adaptability to different situations.
However, among some younger staff members, motivation to grow and
develop is low because they perceive that better qualifications do not
always lead to promotion: since the Ministry does not yet have a
structured human resources programme, the result is both the perception
and reality of a lack of opportunity for younger staff to develop.

Finally, there is also understaffing in support institutions such as the
National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD).

In summary, the Ministry faces many challenges, but it is not impossible
to overcome them. Strong political will is required to make the changes
required to meet the high expectations of improvement in the education
system. Hesitancy or delay will result in widespread disappointment.

16 This is the case where SIPs have been introduced.
17 Reliable data are not available; often, the MoE only knows that a teacher has resigned.


The efforts made to upgrade education in Guyana through the projects
and programmes carried out in recent years have produced a body of
experience and lessons learned. Initiatives include the Primary Education
Improvement Project (PEIP), the Guyana Basic Education Teacher Training
(GBET), the Magnet Schools Project, the Secondary School Reform Project
(SSRP), the Guyana Education Access Project (GEAP), the Amazon project,
and the Guyana Inservice Distance Education Programme (GUIDE). A
summary of some of these projects and programmes is provided at
Appendix 2.

Some of the major policies in place are outlined in An Education Policy and
Five Year Development Plan For Guyana (1995). Most of the policy goals in
this document continue to guide the education system, but additional
policies based on lessons learnt from the initiatives described above are
being introduced and will guide activities during the plan period. Some of
these policies have already been outlined in a number of documents (see
Box 2).

Box 2: Other policy documents guiding the plan

The Non-Academic Standards of the Ministry of Education
A Policy Framework for Distance Education
The Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) Policy Document

The following policies can be considered major reforms which have begun to
be implemented and which will be carried over into the 2003-2007 plan

1. Early Childhood Education

The 1995 policy goals for Early Childhood Education (ECE) remain relevant.
While the target of universal ECE has almost been achieved, the emphasis
will now be on ensuring access to children from very poor or very isolated
communities and children with special education needs.

Work has begun on the recommendation in the 1995 Education Policy that
the first two grades of primary education be conceptualised as an integral
part of ECE. Students entering the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE)
can pursue an option in ECE which allows them to teach either at the
nursery level or in the first two grades of primary school. The curriculum for
nursery and early primary will undergo further revision so that the
foundation for early literacy is laid at this level.

2. Primary Education

a). Functional Literacy: At the primary level, the major emphasis will be on
improving the quality of education, in particular, on ensuring that basic
functional literacy is acquired by the end of primary schooling. A new
methodology to teach literacy will be introduced into the system, based on
the adaptation of successful practices used in Guyana and other countries,
and including regular assessment, school-based and national, to ascertain
the students' progress.

b). The Use of Inter-Active Radio Instruction: The highly successful method
of interactive radio instruction (IRI) will be used for the teaching of
Mathematics, initially in the first three years of primary school. IRI will also
be used to support the literacy campaign for persons in and out of school.

c). The Escuela Nueva: The Escuela Nueva (EN) programme, which has been
piloted in two regions, will be extended to other hinterland communities.
The Ministry will continue to systematically promote the transformation of
schools into child-friendly institutions. Inherent in both of these
programmes and in the HFLE programme is the promotion of life skills, the
active participation of the community in the life of the school, and respect for
diversity, all important policy objectives being promoted through several

d). Foreign Language Teaching: Spanish, which was piloted in a number of
schools during the last five years, will be extended to more schools across all
education districts.

e). Student Assessment: An assessment policy document is being developed
for all levels of the system, highlighting major changes in student
assessment at the primary level in the next five years. There will be
national testing at three key stages, grades 2, 4, and 6. Placement in
secondary schools will no longer be based on a single examination at the end
of primary school.

3. Secondary Education

a). Placement of Students: To ensure that quality education is delivered to all
students, the MoE will identify secondary schools in various regions which
will provide places for students from among the highest performers leaving
primary school at the year of entry. Entry to the remaining secondary
schools will depend on the individual student's home address, with students
being placed at a secondary school within a distance that allows them to
maintain a good record of attendance. By 2005, the Government will provide
access to at least five years of secondary schooling for all primary school

b). Removing Inequalities: Government remains committed to removing or
significantly reducing remaining inequalities of educational and financial
provision, and consequent dropout and wastage, in community high schools
and secondary departments of primary schools.

c). Common Curriculum: Students will cover a common curriculum for the
first three years of secondary school with extra support in Mathematics and
Language Arts for weaker students. At the end of Form 3, all students will
be able to choose from two elective pathways to complete their secondary
education on the basis of their performance at the National Third Form

In the 4th and 5th forms all students will be offered the core subjects.18
Students in Pathway 1 will also do a foreign language and will then be able
to choose a selection of subjects from the Expressive Arts, Humanities, and
pre-vocational areas leading to the Caribbean Secondary Education
Certificate (CSEC). In pathway 2, students will pursue studies leading to
CSEC and other certification in specified skill-based vocational
competencies, for progression to further training or employment.
Information Technology will also be a common component in both pathways.
Entry to both pathways will depend on the student's performance in the
various subject areas during Forms 1 3.

d). The Phasing-in of the Unitary System: The lesson of the SSRP, the GEAP
and similar conversion programmes undertaken by regions without external
assistance is that the change to a unitary secondary education system is
challenging in two ways: in terms of (i) the funds required for physical works,
materials acquisition, and the training and retraining of teachers; and (ii) the
management of the change process at local, regional and central levels. The
Ministry will therefore implement the proposed changes in a phased manner,
starting with the community high schools and then moving to amalgamate
tops of primary schools to form new secondary institutions. A loan for
physical facilities already being negotiated from external sources should
provide 4850 new places and 3000 rehabilitated places in secondary schools.
The Ministry will, wherever possible, make use of existing facilities that can
be upgraded. Specialist facilities, such as Practical Instruction Centres
(PICs), will serve a cluster of schools whenever this is feasible.

18 These are, English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science and Social Studies.

4. Other

a). Class size: The Ministry is committed to making the most efficient use of
its facilities and will ensure that, without depriving hinterland regions of
education facilities, the standards laid down in The Non-Academic Standards
of the Ministry of Education in relation to class size will be adhered to.
Hinterland and deep riverain areas will have smaller classes even with the
clustering of students in schools with residential facilities.

b). Special, technical and vocational education: The policies outlined for
special education, technical and vocational education and teacher education
in the 1995 document remain relevant. Emphasis will be placed on setting
up a National Accreditation Body, a National Council for Teacher Education
and a National Council For Technical and Vocational Education during this
plan period.

c). Upgrading of heads: All heads will be required to be trained in
administration either through the GBET or the administration option in the
Bachelor of Education or Certificate of Education programmes at the
University of Guyana (UG).

e). School Improvement Plans: The development of SIPs with the
collaboration of parents, teachers and other stakeholders, piloted under the
SSRP and GEAP projects, will be extended to schools at all levels.




As redefined during the SWOT sessions referred to in Part I, the mission of
the Ministry of Education and the education sector of Guyana as a whole
is as follows:

To ensure that all citizens of Guyana, regardless of age, race or
creed, physical or mental disability, are given the best possible
opportunity to achieve their full potential through equal access to
quality education as defined by the standards and norms outlined
by the Ministry of Education.

The commitment to quality and equity in education, with no barriers in
access to anyone, is clear in this declaration, which emphasises that not
only social and economic, but physical and mental barriers, must be

For the Ministry of Education, education is defined as more than an
instrumental activity, for example to support greater national
development or reduce poverty. It has value on its own. It is regarded as
the main way to help each human being to achieve his/her highest
potential. Education should be able to give the nation's citizens the
necessary knowledge, skills, and values to lead happy and productive
lives. On the basis of the education received, they should love their
country and respect the diversity of its ethnic, religious and political
traditions. They should adhere to the ideals and practice of democracy,
justice, peace, diversity and accountability

In addition, although children are, and should be, the main target of
educational efforts, the adult population and mainly the young adults,
should be given opportunities to learn.

Finally, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to define the
quality of education to which each person in the system should have
access at each time and place.

The Mission Statement presented here is obviously stated in very broad
terms and should be reviewed during the implementation period of the
strategic plan. Nevertheless, it is very relevant, and all the concepts and
actions included in the strategic plan for 2003-2007 must be considered
in the light of the Ministry's mission, and contribute to its achievement.


After the strategic issues were identified, they were grouped into six areas
of concern to facilitate analysis. It should be noted that a strategic issue
is not necessarily an objective, but a challenge in the future of the
organisation, a fundamental issue that needs to be dealt with. As grouped,
the issues are as follows:

1. Quality Issues

a). To provide better ECE.
b). To develop a more relevant curriculum at all levels of the education
c). To make tertiary education more relevant and capable of contributing
to the development of Guyana.
d). To achieve significantly better levels of literacy and numeracy among
e). To define standards for inputs, processes and outcomes.
f). To improve infrastructure and equipment.

2. Equity Issues

a). To improve the quality of education in the hinterland and riverain
b). To attain universal access to secondary education.
c). To accelerate the mainstreaming/inclusion of persons with special
needs into the education system.

3. Social Issues

a). To increase stakeholders' level of participation and commitment.
b). To increase the level of respect for and tolerance of diversity.

4. Human Resources Issues

a). To produce competent teachers for the system and give them better
b). To reduce the loss of valuable human resources in the system.

5. Management Issues

a). To improve the managerial capabilities of the MoE.
b). To decentralise the management of the system.

6. Support Issues

a). To obtain government and societal support for the MoE at the central,
regional and local levels.
b). To obtain adequate financial resources.

There are significant similarities and even convergences between the MoE
strategic issues outlined above and those identified in the GPRSP, which
was approved in October 2001 after its own extensive participatory
process of consultation.19 The GPRSP signals education as one of the
major components of poverty reduction and again establishes it as a
national priority. Critically, the document presents education not only as
a means of increasing the human capital of Guyana, but also as part of
the definition of poverty itself. As it explains:

Poverty is multi-faceted. It manifests itself in low and uneven levels
of income and consumption, physical insecurity, poor health, low
levels of education, disempowerment, high levels of unemployment,
and social and geographical isolation.20

Given this conceptual framework, education is treated not only as a tool
for development or for decreasing poverty, but as a goal in its own right. If
the people of Guyana are going to defeat poverty, the GPRSP argues, one
of the necessary elements is to raise the level of formal and non-formal
education of the population.

The findings of the consultations held during the formulation of the GPRS
were essentially the same as those emerging from the consultation process
held under the auspices of the MOE. Since the processes took place at the
same time, making it impossible for either to take account of the
conclusions of the other, it is an indication of the validity of both series of
consultations that their results so closely correspond. Table 5 outlines
similarities and convergences between the strategic issues they identify.

19 See GoG, Guyana Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, Georgetown, 2001.
20 Ibidem, p. 4.

Table 5: Similarities and convergences between the GPRS AND MOE strategic


1. Curricula Reforms

2. Improving access to and
attendance at school

3. Teacher training/ancillary
and emoluments

4. Reducing overcrowding and
increasing allocations for

5. Targeting functional literacy
among out of school youth

6. Targeted subsidies for the poor

7. Skills Training and
Employment Programme

8. Strengthening the MOE


To develop a more relevant
curriculum at all levels of the education

To improve the quality of education in the
hinterland and riverain areas.
To attain universal access to secondary education.
To accelerate the mainstreaming/inclusion of
persons with special needs into the education

To produce competent teachers for
the system and give them better support.
To reduce the loss of valuable human
resources in the system.

To obtain adequate financial resources.
To improve infrastructure and equipment.

To achieve significantly better levels of literacy
and numeracy among students.
To provide better ECE.


To make tertiary education more relevant and
capable of contributing to the development of

To increase stakeholders' level of participation
and commitment.
To improve the managerial capabilities of the MOE.
To decentralise the management of the system.
To obtain government and societal support for
the MOE at the central, regional and local levels.
To obtain adequate financial resources.
To define standards for inputs, processes
and outcomes.


All the strategic issues and strategies identified in the MoE process should
be considered priorities, not only because very large groups of people in

21 The GPRS strategic issues are at pages 37-38 of the GPRSP.

Guyana and its educational system understand them as important, but
because they are part of the integrated effort that the Government will
have to make to respond adequately to the needs of the population and
the country. Nevertheless, they must be prioritised, for two basic reasons:

1. Not all the strategic issues have the same level of urgency or can be
addressed in the short run. Preference may be given, for example, to
issues which affect a significant part of the population, have tremendous
implications for national development, or are more likely to produce the
desired impacts in a shorter time or at a lesser cost. On the other hand,
action may be postponed on issues which demand more research before
they can be effectively addressed, or for which special resources that are
not now available to the country are needed.

2. The managerial capability and financial means of the system are
limited. Attention must therefore be paid to how much can be done in the
period covered by the plan and what resources are available to the system
to make and sustain improvements in its quality.

In order to correctly establish the priorities among the issues, it is also
necessary to understand how they are interrelated. Some strategic issues
are instrumental, that is, action on them is a pre-requisite for action on
other strategic issues. For example, through a process of consultation, the
Planning Unit Task Team identified two pre-requisites for considering the
other strategic issues in education. In the previous section, these were
referred to as "support issues" governmental and societal support for the
MoE at all levels; and adequate financial resources. While these pre-
requisites are partly outside the control of the Ministry of Education and
are not properly speaking educational matters, they have major
significance for the achievement of the MoE's goals. Considerable
attention would therefore have to be paid to them if the strategic issues
are to be effectively addressed.

To take all these concerns into account while safeguarding the possibility
of action on all strategic issues, it was necessary to identify the
relationship between and among the six groups of strategic issues; and
the impact that action on one issue would have on another.

The following figures show the linkages among the issues.

Figure 1: The hierarchy of priorities

ENDS: the issues which are considered the main goals of the strategic plan. They
are the outcomes to be expected at the end of the implementation period.

MEANS: initiatives, some very important, that have to be taken in order to be
able to achieve any major changes in the education sector. Although, given their
importance, they could also be considered goals in their own right, they are
means to achieve other objectives of higher priority.

PRE-REQUISITES: issues which have to be successfully
addressed for other strategic issues to be effectively addressed.

1. The MoE has a high number of strategic issues because education is the type of sector which is expected by the population to
deliver services.
2. Behind the conception of the plan is a notion of flexibility and a hierarchy that has to be properly understood, especially by those
who will be involved in its implementation and later evaluation.
3. There are three levels of strategic issues according to their nature and how they are embedded in the logical sequence of the plan.

Figure 2: Prerequisites for implementation of actions and programmes

MoE obtains support from other gov
agencies and the society as a whole.


capabilities in the

intermediary goals
defined as means


Objectives of
the Strategic

Education receives
adequate financial support

1. All government ministries must be aware and supportive of the role education is playing in the strategy for national development.
Agencies like the MoF, the TSC, and the PSM must recognize the MoE as the driving force in the sector without resigning their
functions and obligations, and MoE must put systems in place to make collaboration easier.
2. MoE needs an enhanced administrative framework in order to access and effectively utilise the increased resources provided by
government from national and international sources.
3. To become more effective, the system must develop its managerial capabilities and achieve higher levels of effectiveness and
efficiency. The scarce resources of time and money must be spent wisely and in a timely manner. Targets must be clearly defined
so that monitoring and evaluation is easier, allowing for greater accountability.

Figure 3: Academic or management means to achieve desired outcomes

1. All the above issues are important, but as means to achieve better academic outcomes.
2. Since teachers are an essential element in transforming the schools, they must be better supported. The system may not be able
to avoid all losses due to migration, but it must quantify the losses, prepare to find substitutes, and design a strategy to reduce
losses to the lowest level possible. This is another way of trying to increase the capacity of the teaching force since it is mostly the
better prepared teachers who are leaving.
3. Policies and academic and non-academic norms, including performance norms, need to be clearly defined and in the minds of all
involved in the system.
4. An increased level of participation is necessary for working to address all other issues.
5. Better support for the teachers also has to come from the Government and education administrators, with greater monetary and
non-monetrary rewards, including accelerated promotion, for the better and more committed ones.
6. Standards must define the infrastructure and equipment that each educational institution needs to have, and they must be
understood as a right of teachers, children, families and communities.

Figure 4: The hierarchy of strategic issues which are objectives in themselves

Improvement of More relevant
More respect for education in the tertiary education
diversity hinterland and
riverain regions

Relevant Universal access
Curriculum at to secondary
all levels education

Improved levels of
literacy and

Better early Mainstreaming students
childhood e with special needs

1. Improved levels of literacy and numeracy are the central strategic issue of the plan, around which everything else revolves and to
which everything else is connected.
2. Better ECE is the starting point of the educational effort and a necessity for achieving higher levels of literacy and numeracy.
Guyana also has international commitments to better ECE.
3. USE will contribute to raising literacy and numeracy: today, basic education includes some secondary education (for the
Caribbean it is defined as five years).
4. More relevant curriculum at all levels, including tertiary, is a necessary component of achieving all other gains.
5. More respect for diversity is a national problem and a mandatory part of a more relevant curriculum.
6. Improvement of education in the hinterland and riverain regions and mainstreaming students with special needs, where possible,
are both major aspects of equity, and related to the other quality issues.

Figure 5: Prerequisites, means and ends


MOE obtains
support from all the
government sectors
and the society as a

Teachers are
prepared and The los'
receive better valuable
support person

Education receives
adequate financial

of education
in the
and riverain

levels of




Strategic thinking demands an effort to establish priorities and to identify the
most significant issues involved in each process. The emphasis of the actions
taken by MoE during these years will change in accordance with how the
Ministry and the education system evolve, the resources available, and the
perception the communities have of the performance of the schools. In
principle, five strategic lines will guide the development of the annual action
plans. The evolution through the five-year span is as follows:

Table 6: Annual emphases of the plan


Getting ready
Actions during the first year should concentrate mainly on preparing the MoE
and the system as a whole to be able to undertake the changes necessary to
produce the educational services the country needs.

2003 The MoE should become more efficient, faster in its responses and more
effective in its overall performance. The regional offices must be improved to a
level where they can perform the tasks they are supposed to perform in the
system. The various reforms should be studied and planned. The actions to be
taken in the different lines of priority should be clearly established and
everything should be prepared to leap toward the next level.
Improvement in the delivery of services
Once management is prepared, the stage is set to deliver on the learning
process. During the second year of the plan, efforts should concentrate on
producing the improvements planned in the preceding year. Regional offices
should work to supervise and guide the schools and provide capable
2004 leadership to the process. Schools should be able to produce their SIPs, and
the Ministry should produce the curriculum reform and training support for
the different levels. With a better level of management in the system, teaching
is expected to improve and the final goal, which is better learning, can be

All systems in place and running
During the third year, the major and most dramatic changes should be
completed or at least initiated. It is time to correct undesirable situations and
2005 to improve and/or finish whatever processes were started the year before. By
this time, the system should have reached the structural and operational form


Table 6, continued

Striving for excellence
The fourth year is the time to start insisting on reaching a level of excellence
throughout the system. Emphasis should be placed on monitoring and
2006 evaluation, training, and developing the kind of responsible attitude that will
take any action to success.

Producing a new future
This is the last year of the period covered by the plan, and it is necessary to
2007 start the strategic planning process for the years 2007-2011. It should be
year of evaluation and decisions concerning the future. It is to be expected
that with the experience accumulated during the previous years, the MoE will
be able to face up to this new challenge.


Once all the strategies to address the strategic issues had been identified and
analysed, they had to be integrated into a rational and cohesive plan. Since
some of the actions demanded by the different groups of strategies are the
same, some are linked in time or are part of a sequence, and still others could

be contributing factors to the same objectives,
carried out they have to be inserted into a unitary

in order to be successfully
process, as parts of a whole.

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators
To improve the ECE is more Nursery (years 1 and 2003 Relevant circular is
quality of the effective and is 2) and primary issued
delivery of up to the grades 1 and 2.
education, agreed (preparatory A and
especially in the international B) will be officially
area of literacy and standards. designated ECE
An Assistant Chief 2003 Appointment is made.
Education Officer Officer is functioning.
(ECE) will be
appointed to be
responsible for
nursery and the first
two grades of

22 As used in the matrix, a strategic objective is a major and broad category of objective in
which several lines of actions have to be included, while an intermediate objective is a means
or instrument to achieve the strategic objective.

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

The nursery
curriculum will be
further revised to
include greater em-
phasis on pre-liter-
acy skills and will be
closely aligned with
the curriculum of
the first two grades
of primary.

A special training
programme will be
developed for teach-
ers in ECE, to orient
them to changes in
the curriculum.

A policy of placing
the best (trained)
teachers in the lower
grades of primary
school will be put in

Performance norms
(Academic) will be
established for the
ECE grades.

National standards
(which include aca-
demic and non-aca-
demic norms) will be
finalised and effect-
tively communicated
to all nursery and
primary schools.

Regions will use a
School Mapping
Exercise (SME) to
diagnose the
number of
schools meeting
national standards.

Schools will prepare
School Improvement
Plans (SIPS) to help
them meet the









The curriculum
document is completed,
printed and distributed
to all nursery and
primary schools and to
all relevant officers at
regional and central

Over 90% of teachers
at this level take part in
the training
approximately 20%
each year.

80% of the schools have
placed trained teachers
at grades 1 and 2.

The document is com-
pleted and circulated to
all nursery and primary
schools and to relevant

A document with all the
standards is published
and disseminated to all

Results of SME are
published; and the
weaknesses and
strengths of schools
clearly established.

60% of schools have
documented SIPS.

50% of schools are

defined standard.

Regions will allocate
additional resources
and give more
support to schools
with the identified
greatest needs
(based on SMEs).

programmes for
parents and parents-
to-be will be con-
tinued, using the
parenting manual
which has been

A national campaign
to promote the im-
portance of ECE will
be developed and
implemented with
special emphasis on
depressed areas.

The existing
programme for
teachers in ECE at
CPCE will be
revised to include
the new initiatives in
the curriculum.

A new methodology
to teach literacy,
based on a survey of
good practices in









__ __ __ __ -, __ _ _ _____

meeting defined

80% of schools are
meeting defined

A formula for financing
is established.

30% of targeted schools
meet national

50% of targeted schools
meet national

50% of nursery and
primary schools develop
a parenting programme.

50% increase in
parental involvement in
school life.

70% increase in
television and radio
programmes on the

50% increase in the
printed material on the
topic distributed.

Almost 100% coverage
at this level in the
specified areas.

Programme is revised.

50% improvement in
the number of students
meeting the defined
standards from cohorts

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

Levels of
literacy and
numeracy are

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators


Guyana and abroad,
and on the defined
performance norms,
will be introduced at
nursery and primary

Mathematics for
grades 1 to 3 will be
taught via
Interactive Radio
Instruction (IRI)

Ten persons per year
for 3 years from the
various teacher
training facilities
and the regions will
be trained as
specialists in the
new approaches.

Geographic clusters
of schools will be

By 2005, 90 cluster
advisors will be
trained to support
teachers through
monthly cluster
meetings and visits
to schools.

Teachers and
headteachers will be
trained to implement
the literacy
programme, starting
with 20% in 2004
and completing
training for all
practicing teachers
by 2006.

Teachers from grade
1 to 3 will receive
training in the use of
IRI in the classroom.







entering primary
education from 2003.
All CPCE graduates in
ECE from 2007 can
deliver the new

50% improvement in
the number of students
meeting the defined
standards from cohorts
entering primary
education from 2003.

Number of persons

Clusters are mapped
out for every region

Number of advisors
trained in 2003, 2004,
No. of training meetings
No. of visits made to

Percentage of heads and
teachers trained.
No. of teachers
implementing the new
methodology in classes.

No. of heads and
teachers trained.
No. of schools using IRI
in the relevant classes.

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

The nursery,
primary and
curricula are
revised and a
mechanism to
ensure that
they will remain
un-to-date is

A system of on-going
school based
assessment of
literacy will be put in
place. In addition,
there will be national
assessments at 3
key stages starting
in 2003.

Books and other
support material for
literacy and numer-
acy will be produced
or procured for all

A national
awareness campaign
will be developed to
sensitise the public
to the new

National level
officers for ECE and
primary education,
as well as regional
departments, will
develop action plans
to monitor and
sustain these

A permanent
commission will be
constituted to advise
the Minister on
evaluation, revision,
and updating of the








Assessment of grade 2
(prep B) students
carried out.

Assessment of grade 4
(std II) students carried

Assessment of grade 6
(std IV) students carried

Assessment data are
available in schools and
in national reports.

Proportion of schools
with adequate supplies
of recommended
materials for students
and guided material for

Proportion of parents
who participate in the
compact for literacy.
Reduction in the
number of queries
about literacy from
parents and other

Action plans of relevant

Advisory and evaluation
reports from the
Inclusion of topical
social issues, etc., in
the curriculum.


Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives __Date/s Indicators
put in place.

A more relevant
curriculum is
used at the
tertiary Level.

Standards for
processes and
outputs are
defined and

Regions will study
the curriculum and
make recommenda-
tions for adaptation
to their local
environment if

Schools will develop
SIPs with improved
delivery of the
curriculum as the
major priority.

Technical and
vocational education
and training (TVET)
curriculum will be
continually revised,
in consultation with
employers, to
include new subject
areas and new

TVET institutions
will be evaluated on
their capacity to
deliver the new
curriculum, and
plans for
development will be

Special programmes
will be derived from
the new curriculum
to offer training at
this level to young

Work on academic
(performance norms)
for all subject areas
will continue.







Proposals for
localisation of the
curriculum made to
Curriculum Unit.
Region-specific material

By 2003, 25% of
schools will include
improving the quality of
delivery of the
curriculum in their
SIPs, rising to over
75% by 2007.

No. of new subject areas
No. of subject areas
Evaluation reports from
employers and
Rate at which graduates
are employed.

Evaluation reports.
Improvement plans of
each institution.

The Skills Training and
Programme (STEP) is

Relevant document is
produced and

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

A monitoring
system is

and equipment
will improve

A task force will
make revisions or
additions if
necessary, to the
non-academic norms
and will organise all
academic and non-
academic norms in a
way that allows for

Supervision and
inspection of schools
will be done in the
light of these

An SME will be
carried out to give
regions a diagnosis
of their institutions
in relation to the

Regions will prepare
action plans to help
in the
implementation of
these standards.

The MIS Unit will
install software at
school, regional and
central levels to
allow for the storage
and retrieval of the
relevant data related
to academic and
standards; data
bases will include
information on
personnel, buildings,
students, etc.

Local (i.e., school
level) and regional
maintenance plans







Standards are widely
known and are used as
a basis for planning by
schools and regions.

Standards form the
basis of reports,
evaluations, etc.

SME completed;
regional and school
indicators available.

No. of plans developed.
Proportion of schools
meeting relevant

Proportion of schools
with the relevant
Timeliness of retrieval of

Proportion of schools
and regions with a
maintenance plan.
Proportion of recurrent


Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

To improve equity
in the education
sector by giving
special attention to
previously un-
reached students;
(persons with
special challenges),
those without
access to quality
education, and
those in remote
hinterland and
riverain areas.

The delivery of
education will
be improved,
especially in
hinterland and
riverain areas.

Access to

will be developed
and implemented.

New equipment to
support educational
innovations will be
supplied to schools
through GoG and
donor- supported

Schools will be
constructed and
repaired and
dormitory facilities
improved in the
hinterland and
riverain areas.
Teachers housing
will also be

Schools will develop

The Escuela Nueva
(EN) programme will
be expanded in
Regions 1 and 9 and
extended to Regions
7 and 8.

Training of teachers
in hinterland and
riverain localities by
distance education
will be increased and

Plans will be











expenditure on

Availability of
equipment in schools as
indicated in statistical

20% of schools are up
to standard.

40% of schools up to

600 new dormitory
places available

20 new teachers/flats

30% of schools in
remote areas working
with a SIP

75% of schools in
remote areas working
with a SIP.

10 schools following EN

20 schools following EN

The proportion of
teachers in hinterland
regions who are trained
is increased by 50% by

Regional USE plans are

'v I

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

education is
improved and
the curriculum
is redefined,
paving the way
toward Univer-
sal Secondary

of some persons
with special
needs into

formulated at central
and regional level to
gradually eliminate
community high
schools and primary

New schools will be
Schools will be
extended and
rehabilitated to give
a 10% increase in
capacity at the
secondary level.

Curriculum for
secondary level,
including alternative
learning paths, will
be developed.

Teachers in
secondary schools,
in particular in com-
munity high schools
and secondary
departments of
primary schools, will
be given special
training to allow
them to deliver the
new curriculum.

A national study will
be done to establish
the number of
students with









in place.

6000 new places

Curriculum being
implemented in 50% of
all secondary

Curriculum being
implemented in all
secondary institutions.

90% of teachers in CHS
and 10% of teachers in
secondary departments
of primary schools

40% of teachers in
secondary departments

60% of teachers in
secondary departments

80% of teachers in
secondary departments

Data on number of
students with
disabilities available at
national and regional


Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

To increase the
level of
commitment of
students, parents
and communities
to the education
process and to
human rights.

regular schools.


special needs.

Data bases at
schools, regions and
central level will be
updated through
screening of
students at entry
grades for each level.

All students at CPCE
will do a basic
special education
module to sensitise
them to the needs of
these students and
increase their
observation skills.

Special resource and
support units for
children with special
need will be

Special schools will
be assisted to
produce SIPs

Closer links will be
established with the
Ministry of Health
and Ministry of
Labour, Human
Services and Social

MOE will strengthen
its existing policy of
promoting the
participation of
through training of
PTAs and School
Improvement Action
Committees (SIACs)
to participate in












No. of persons receiving
the new module.
Reports from schools.
The number of teachers
willing to have children
with special needs in
their classes.

1 unit established.

3 units established.

6 units established.

All special schools will
have SIPs developed
with assistance from
many stakeholders.

Exchange of data
among Ministries.
Proportion of children
receiving early support
through information
received from Ministry
of Health.
Proportion of families
receiving support from
Human Services

75% of schools will have
active PTAs and/or

50% increase in the
number of parents
active in PTAs and

" I

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

Increase level of
respect for and
tolerance of

school improvement
plans/ activities.

Regional and local
advisory councils
will be set up to
monitor schools and
to advise and
strategies to regional
and local school

National Advisory
Commission on
Education (NACE)
will be strengthened
through the
provision of a
regular budget.

A special programme
derived from
Management of
Social and Sensitive
Issues programme
will be implemented
to prepare teachers
to be more effective
as facilitators for
tolerance of





No. of councils set up.

tions from NACE to

40% of teachers will
have taken part in this

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

To improve the
human resources
of the system.

The competency
of the teachers
in the system is

The issue of
tolerance of diversity
will be included in
the HFLE

Special programmes
for parents and the
community will be
organised in the

Literacy and artistic
contests will be
established on a
yearly basis on
variations of this

See initiatives
under improved
literacy and
numeracy, ECE and

A council for teacher
education will be set
up to promote
greater collaboration
among providers of
teacher training and
effect smoother
transition from one
programme to

Greater training
opportunities (post-
graduate) will be
provided for teacher

CPCE facilities,
equipment, will be
improved to facilitate
programmes, greater
orientation to
technology, etc.







Curriculum is available.

Reduced incidence of
problems related to
intolerance in schools.

25% of the schools will
have developed this
type of programme.

From 2003, these
contests become a
feature in the system.

UG and CPCE agree on
a credit system for
various courses,
including courses
offered via projects etc.

A 20% improvement in
the proportion of
teachers at CPCE with

Innovative technology
centre opened at CPCE.

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

receive better

There is a
reduction of the
loss of valuable
personnel in
the system.

Each region will
implement a plan to
support the
development of its
teachers with a

Training programme
for supervisors will
be initiated.

with the regional
offices and the
schools will be

Schools are provided
with water,
electricity and a
telephone or
alternatives to them.

Teachers in the
hinterland and
riverain regions will
be provided with
(See initiatives under

A study will be made
to quantify the loss
of personnel in the
system, especially

A task team will be
formed to develop a
strategy to minimise
losses in the system.

department of MOE
will be developed
and improved.

A training centre for










40% of the schools have
a developmental
programme for their

30% of the supervisors
receive special training.

90% of the schools have
a reliable and effective
way to communicate
with the regional office.

90% of the schools have
all three services or
their substitute.

60% of the schools in
the hinterland region
have living quarters for
teachers constructed or

Up-to-date information
is available on the
system losses.

Policy is improved and

Recommendations from
consultancies in HRD
are put into effect
through an IDB-
supported project.

Centre is opened

v I

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

MOE's managerial
capabilities are
improved and the
system becomes
more effective and

capabilities of
the Ministry are

HRD will be
developed and
equipped with
project resources.

A new Education Bill
will be taken to

A task team will be
formed at MOE to
develop an action
plan to introduce the
managerial changes
estimated necessary
and/or achievable.

A strategic director
will be appointed to
co-ordinate the
rollover of the
strategic plan.

Reforms will be
introduced in the
department of
finance as
recommended by

Staff of the MIS unit
will be increased in
number and existing
members trained.

Technology staff will
be appointed in each
region to support the

Equipment for
management and
purposes will be
provided to central
and regional
departments and
some schools under
an IDB supported








Programmes offered

Bill approved

Plan is approved and

Action plans of all
units, regional or
central, are prepared
annually and are in
congruence with the
strategic plan.

Reforms are made in
the financial area of the

Staff appointed.
Training courses

Staff appointed

Equipment inventory,
especially number of

S~ ~ ~ S ~ 3

Strategic Intermediate Strategies/Actions Target Performance
Objective Objectives Date/s Indicators

A virtual library will 2003 Documents from MOE
be developed, and data are available
through the internet.

See initiatives
under stakeholder

Improving the Officers in regional 2004- 75% of the regional
decentralised offices will be trained 2007 personnel participate in
management of and prepared to training workshops.
the system. fulfill their tasks.

An improved 2004 Six schools in two
financial regions implement the
management system new system as a pilot
will be introduced project.
for better resource
allocation and
accountability at the
school level.


The strategic plan 2003-2007 is a planning system more than a plan. It is
more strategic and less nominal than past plans. It has been developed from
the strategic issues that the Ministry has to face in the period, stresses
feasibility and provides flexibility to accommodate the changes in the
environment, and the opportunities, threats, weaknesses and strengths that
might evolve in the course of the next five years.

Strategic planning was the course chosen over other options because it
produces an environment more conducive to innovation. In the case of
Guyana, it was able to analyse the Ministry and the environment in which it
works in a new way, one that could lead to solutions different from those
unsuccessfully tried in the past.

Strategic planning is important because it plays a central role in political
decision-making which itself begins with issues, and which strategic planning
can improve by shaping how issues are framed and addressed, leading to
choices and actions more likely to be politically acceptable, technically
workable, and in accordance with an organisation's basic philosophy and
values. These choices and actions are also likely to be morally, ethically, and
legally defensible.

The decision in favour of a flexible planning tool for the Ministry of Education
was based on the recognition that the main characteristic of the 21st Century
in all societies is rapid change, and for countries like Guyana, rapid change
which will frequently have to be made under pressure from more powerful
countries and external agencies. In place of a document which can rapidly
become outdated in such an environment, the plan is a guiding instrument, a
framework in which developmental efforts should take place. It must always
remain flexible, giving priority to the strategic thinking that the institution
must generate if it wants to be successful in the future. It must leave all doors
open for the Ministry to search for the best strategies at all times.

The system which has been designed has the following components:

1. A written document which has all the necessary elements to give a sense of
direction to the institutional actions that will be required in the five-year
period. It is the product of a very participatory and demanding process geared
to take into account all significant opinions, and which is based on the work of
a number of dedicated persons in the Ministry. This written plan provides the
vision for significant improvements and changes in the education system.

2. A commitment to develop five action plans, one for each year of the plan
period, which will define the specific actions to be taken in each year and
outline the steps necessary for implementation.

3. A group committed to consistently supplying the necessary strategic ideas
and concerns and to functioning as the coordinating unit for the execution of
the plan. The Strategic Planning Committee will assume this important task. It
will manage the plan and will introduce whatever new perspectives become
necessary. The education system and the Ministry are institutions with
thinking, living beings who must be able to adapt to changes and use whatever
new opportunities become available.

4. A monitoring mechanism to report on the implementation of the actions
included in each annual plan and in the overall strategic document.

5. An annual evaluation immediately before the start of the planning and
budgeting processes, to determine the level of success achieved and to ensure
that the necessary corrections and adaptations are made. The Strategic
Planning Committee, supported by the Planning Unit, will be responsible for
this task.

The following figure outlines how the process should develop:23

23Numbers in parentheses show the chronological order of the process.

Figure 6: How the planning system will work

Document of the Strategic
Plan 2002-2007 is approved

Action Plan for each year is
developed and approved. It
goes into effect. (2)

The whole process is monitored and
Controlled by the Strategic Planning

Monitoring system is in place

Evaluation of the results of the
prior action plan is produced. (3)

Yearly action plans are produced
and changes are introduced into the
Strategic Plan 2002-2006. (4)







The availability of financial resources is the central question for the
implementation of this plan. The developmental needs of the country are many
and varied: major spending is needed on infrastructure, utilities, and social
services, and there are urgent calls to increase the budget for internal and
external security. Education has however been maintained as a priority in
spite of the increasing demands from every sector.

1. Government Allocations to Education, 1990 2000

From 1991, funding to education has increased steadily and expenditure on
education as a percentage of the national budget and as a proportion of G.D.P.
has also generally increased. Table 7 below shows allocations to education as a
percentage of the national budget.

Table 7:

Education as a percentage of the national budget

Year National Education Ed. as a % of the
Budget Budget Nat. Bud.
1990 11,907,193 525,506 4.4
1991 12,793,000 832,610 7.1
1992 29,826,332 1,700,400 6.0
1993 30,194,677 2,225,146 7.3
1994 40,185,824 2,857,663 7.1
1995 40,077,495 3,267,287 8.1
1996 45,442,508 4,591,873 10.1
1997 56,958,277 4,939,375 8.6
1998 51,422,353 5,748,484 11.1
1999 54,568,995 6,828,412 12.5
2000 65,575,867 9,527,210 14.5

A steady decline in the exchange rate of the Guyana dollar and other
inflationary trends have resulted in a decrease in expenditure on education in
real terms in some years, but Table 8 shows that over the last eight years,
expenditure has increased in both nominal and real terms, a fact which
reinforces government's commitment to education as a priority. Increased
expenditure on education seems to be supported by all parties in spite of
differences in approaches and strategies.

Table 8: Annual percentage changes in allocations to education in $US

Ya Education Rate Of
Year Educan ae Budget In $US % Of Change
Budget Exchange
1990 525,505 39.5 13,303.79
1991 832,610 111.8 7,447.39 -44
1992 1,700,400 125.0 13,603.20 +83
1993 2,225,146 130.2 17,070.21 +26
1994 2,857,287 138.2 20,667.73 +21
1995 3,267,287 141.9 23,025.27 +11
1996 4,591,873 140.2 32,752.30 +42
1997 4,939,375 143.6 34,396.76 +5
1998 5,748,484 150.2 38,272.19 +11
1999 6,828,412 176.2 38,753.75 +1
2000 9,527,210 184.7 51,528.07 +33%

2. Key Areas of Expenditure in the Plan

As pointed out earlier, at nursery and primary levels, access to education is not
a serious problem: coverage at both levels is more than ninety percent. The
problems of access are concentrated mostly at the secondary level and in what
could be considered special services, e.g., schools for children with special
needs. The major issue facing the MoE in Guyana is the issue of quality. Even
in the hinterland and riverain areas the problem at the first two levels is not so
much access to education as access to quality education. Most of the actions
in this plan are therefore concentrated in the area of quality, and range from
curriculum reform to the type of supervision and material and equipment
support that schools receive in various regions of the country.

Four main areas will require substantial funding. These are:

a). Construction/Rehabilitation of Education Buildings (G$14.4 billion)

The MoE has committed itself to reducing its backlog of rehabilitation needs
and thereafter, to working to keep its physical stock in fair condition through a
strong maintenance programme. This, together with the construction of new
schools to achieve universal secondary education and the enhancement of
offices and resource centres, will constitute the key item of expenditure. It
should be noted, however, that most of the schools at the primary level are new
or were renovated in the not so distant past, although there are still unmet
needs. It is expected that support through programmes such as SIMAP and the
Basic Needs Trust Fund will continue for at least another two or three years. It
has already been indicated that a loan from the IDB will provide nearly 5000
new places at the secondary level.

b). Salaries (G$ 5.4 billion in 2002)

In spite of substantial increases in recent years, teacher salaries continue to be
a disincentive to encouraging people to enter and/or remain in the profession.
The Guyana Government cannot compete with the salaries offered by some
countries, but in addition to possible monetary increases, it is considering non-
salary incentives such as land and loans for housing. The issue of teacher
compensation however remains a challenge, as the level of teacher salaries
cannot be totally divorced from the level of salaries in the rest of the public

c). Equipment and Other Learning Materials and Tools

The demand for equipment and other learning material or tools at all levels, in
particular computers, is another major cost (over G$ 1 billion for innovative
technology in schools and for the Ministry's MIS). Assistance is forthcoming
through some programmes, but in general, the MoE will give priority to the
provision of reading material and then take an incremental approach to the
provision of equipment. Whenever it is needed and wherever it is feasible, a
cluster of schools will share expensive equipment.

d). Human Resource Development

Human resource development, in particular the training of teachers, will
require increased financial resources during the plan period. Ongoing annual
costs are currently over G$450 million and are estimated to rise to G$525
million by the end of the plan. In addition, nearly G$224 million is budgeted
for this activity under phase 1 of the BEAMS project. As with the other areas,
some assistance has already been negotiated for HRD but even more
importantly, there is a firm basis to build on, in that the GUIDE and GBET
programmes have given MoE considerable experience in training teachers via
distance modalities. The curriculum created for these programmes and the
support systems which have been developed are well-established, and except
for the enhancement of some additional resource centres, the infrastructure
for improved HRD is fairly well established. The unit cost for this kind of
training should fall in the future.

3. Preliminary Estimates

The new education initiatives proposed in this plan, together with ongoing
activities, are estimated to cost G$ 70.4 billion (approximately US$ 371 million)
over the five-year period. Seventy-five percent of this sum (G$50 billion) is for
recurrent estimates and twenty-five percent ($19.6 billion) for capital

A ten percent increase in salaries is projected over the period and estimates for
materials, equipment and supplies include an annual inflation rate of five
percent. Recurrent expenditure will largely be financed from Government of
Guyana resources, but some cost recovery or cost sharing measures will be
actively considered in the next five years.


1. GOG Funding

The GPRSP cites education as a continuing priority in the Government's
development policy and projects a substantial increase to education over the
next five years.

The estimate of the Guyana Government's contribution to available resources
in 2003 is based on the actual sum the Government committed to education
from national resources in 2002, i.e., it does not include external assistance.
For three years, an increase of five percent is estimated based on the release of
additional funds through the HIPC initiative, and the GOG contribution is then
slightly reduced as the need for counterpart funding to some projects declines
or comes to a halt.

2. External Assistance

In addition to the projected increase from GOG sources, the Ministry expects
significant assistance to its the capital programme.

a). Over G$ 1.9 billion is already committed as a part of ongoing programmes.
Included in capital expenditure is the funding for BEAMS which has recently
been approved by the IDB. The IDB's input to this project during this period is
expected to be G$ 5.7 billion (US$ 30 million). The Government is also seeking
to negotiate another G$ 2.85 billion (US$ 15 million) to fund technical and
vocational education. Negotiations have not yet been completed for this project
or for additional resources, about G$ 3.3 billion, to help with construction and
rehabilitation of schools. These sums have however been factored into the
projected available resources outlined in Table 9.

b). Guyana is one of eighteen countries eligible to participate in what is being
called the EFA Fast Track Initiative which, in the words of the World Bank
(coordinating agency on behalf of several bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies),
"is designed to channel increased support for primary education to countries
with sound policies and strong domestic commitment to the goal of universal
primary education." Key features of the initiative are the offer of incremental
funding which can be flexibly used for recurrent expenditures such as the
hiring of teachers, as well as for capital requirements. It is expected that with

the 2003-2007 education plan and the GOG proven commitment to primary
education, Guyana can meet the criteria for accessing this fund.

c). The MoE also expects that the assistance given by the smaller bilateral
agencies and agencies such as UNICEF, UNESCO, and the OAS will continue.

3. Possible Shortfalls

The projected assistance outlined above should allow MOE to fill gaps in GOG's
provision. However, even with committed and projected external assistance
there are shortfalls in the available resources in the first three years, and these
shortfalls will be greater if salary increases are more significant than the ten
percent estimated. It should also be noted that in the event of unexpected
challenges or shortfalls in financing, the strategic planning approach
embedded in the 2003-2007 plan will enable the Ministry to make the best
choices and to delay or fast track activities as appropriate. The annual action
plans which are to be derived from the strategic plan will reflect these changes,
and delayed activities can be rolled over to a subsequent year.

Table 9: Projected resources, expenditure and shortfalls

Year Projected Available Projected Difference
Year Difference
Resources Expenditure
2003 13,760,093 14,174,253 442,660

2004 14,562,975 14,987,408 424,433

2005 14,292,355 14,382,745 92,390

2006 13,967,989 13,967,789

2007 12,836,082 12,836,082


To build a literate and tolerant citizenry
in an inclusive Guyana

At the end of the period of implementation of the plan:

1. The Ministry of Education will be an effective and efficient organisation,
striving to achieve its goal of delivering high quality education to all persons
living in Guyana and particularly to the children.

2. The actions of the Ministry will have made possible a rise in the functional
literacy rate in the society, and at all levels of the system students will be
working with an updated curriculum.

3. The first unit of the curriculum will comprise the two years of nursery
plus the two first grades of primary, with teachers working with a full
understanding of the importance and objectives of this period of schooling.
Coverage in nursery education will be universal, especially in the hinterland
and riverain regions. As a consequence of improving the first years of
schooling and of the introduction of educational programmes for parents,
early childhood education will be at its best ever, contributing to better
development of the future generations of Guyana.

4. In general, primary schools will be delivering a much better quality of
education. Standards will be established for all educational institutions at
primary level, and regional directors and their staff will be providing strong
leadership and supervision.

5. Secondary education will have seen a significant increase in coverage and
will be moving towards universal coverage with the construction and
rehabilitation of several schools at this level. The curriculum will have been
redesigned and the opportunities for students will be expanding. In the
hinterland and riverain regions, there will be a number of boarding schools
providing appropriate accommodation for students.

6. Tertiary education, including that in the technical-vocational schools, will
have been improved, and the curriculum will be more relevant to the Guyana
of today and especially to the world of work. Graduates will be becoming
agents of development by integrating their skills into the production system.

7. The quality of teaching and learning will be much improved, due to better
training and preparation and more professional development of teachers. In
all regions, the majority of teachers will have the necessary certification
while all other teachers will be working to obtain it. A system will be in place
which permits quality preparation of all teachers who consciously work to
gain and maintain the professional teaching certificate.

8. All educators, ancillary personnel, and other participants in the education
system will share in the vision of a better education for Guyana. Generally,
society will appreciate the effort made to improve the system and will be
willing to support and cooperate in this effort. The Government will continue
to give priority to all educational matters and other agencies will be willing to
support the Ministry. The national budget will clearly reflect the importance
given to education, and the private sector and the international donor
community will be willing and able to support the actions carried out by the
Ministry in accordance with its plan.

9. The education system as a whole, and each of its institutions, will be role
models for tolerance of and respect for diversity, with mechanisms and
programmes in place to avoid all kinds of discrimination and to foster



Quality Issues

Strategic Issue: To be able to provide better early childhood education.
Proposed Strategies
1. Conduct a national campaign to raise consciousness on the
importance of ECE and the duties of parents.
2. Develop a programme to help families and families-to-be become better
prepared to raise their children.
3. Create a unitary curriculum for the two years of nursery and the first
two years of primary.
4. Prepare special training sessions for teachers in ECE.
5. Make a commitment to dedicate the best teachers in primary to the
first years of schooling.
6. Strengthen the ECE teacher certificate by clarifying the knowledge,
skills and aptitudes required.
7. Prepare special programmes to support teachers in ECE through

Strategic Issue: To have a more relevant curriculum at all levels of the education
Proposed Strategies
1. Create a task force to review the curriculum, with working groups for
each level.
2. Develop a team in each region to review and revise the curriculum and
make proposals to adapt it to each regional reality.
3. Initiate an improvement action plan at each level, incorporating all past
and current experiences related to the curriculum.
4. Consider the curriculum a priority in all SIPs and train school
personnel in curriculum development.

Strategic Issue: To make tertiary education more relevant and capable of contributing
to the development of Guyana.
Proposed Strategies
1. Create a task force to decide on actions in tertiary education.
2. Maintain institutionalized lines of communication to coordinate actions
with UG.
3. Establish a body to oversee tertiary education and promote cooperation
among the institutions.
4. Promote technical education in each region, with at least one institute
in each region specifically designed to respond to the region's needs.
5. Carefully study the report of the consultants working on technical
education and implement an action plan.

Strategic Issue: To obtain significantly better levels of literacy and numeracy among
Proposed Strategies
1. Organise a national awareness campaign.
2. Create a task force to propose national action on literacy and
3. Develop an action plan in each region to improve the level of literacy
and numeracy.
4. Revise the nursery and primary curricula with the aim of making full
functional literacy and numeracy a goal to be achieved by the end of
primary school.
5. Adapt and/or design books and teaching materials to support the
6. Provide teachers at this level with training and special support in the
form of a detailed manual for everyday activities.
7. Institute national contests to promote learning in these two major

Strategic Issue: To define standards for inputs, processes and outcomes.
Proposed Strategies
1. Review and update the present document on non-academic standards.
2. Adapt the document to the needs of each region and evaluate each
educational centre in order to create an inventory of needs in each
school. The document should be approved by MoE authorities,
Government should commit itself to taking all schools to the level
established as acceptable, and curriculum experts should analyse the
proposals and elaborate guides for all levels. All supervision of schools
should be done in the context of these standards.
3. Set minimum and maximum enrollments for each school.
4. Establish the highest possible minimum standards for books, labs,
libraries and other support facilities for schools at each level.
5. Consider electricity, communication and running water a must in all
schools, using different strategies to ensure that they are provided.

Strategic Issue: To improve infrastructure and equipment.
Proposed Strategies
1. Put an action plan in place for the rehabilitation/upgrading of all
schools, so that, by a date set, all schools will be up to the
recommended standards.
2. Produce and use a guide for construction of new schools for all new
3. Put a system for the timely delivery of equipment and supplies into
effect with the cooperation of the regional offices.
4. Invite communities to be an integral and active part of the security and
maintenance of schools.
5. Create at least one resource centre in each region to give support to
schools and help them develop best practices in teaching and learning.
The resource centres should organise workshops for teachers on how
to develop teaching materials with local ingredients.

Equity Issues

Strategic Issue: To improve the quality of education in the hinterland regions.
Proposed Strategies
1. Draft a model for the development of each regional office.
2. Using this model, upgrade each regional office by the addition of new
personnel and training.
3. In each region, draft a school map reflecting all the region's educational
4. Identify a team of trainers for each region to support schools in the
development of SIPs.
5. Develop an SIP for each school in the region.
6. Put in place a programme of maintenance and rehabilitation of old
schools and other educational facilities in the region.
7. Carry out a study on strategies for providing power, running water
and some form of communication to each school.
8. Establish a construction plan for each region.
9. Establish academic and non-academic standards for each school, with
a plan to gradually achieve them.
10. In each region, develop an action plan within the framework of the
strategic plan.
11. Develop an MoE monitoring and evaluation system to support the
implementation of these plans.

Strategic Issue: To obtain universal access to secondary education.
Proposed Strategies
1. Urgently decide which secondary schools need to be built immediately.
2. Design a maintenance and construction plan with the participation of
all regions.
3. Evaluate the results of SSRP and GEAP in order to build on them.
4. Appoint a task force to organise a national conference on secondary
education and use the results to revise the curriculum and to propose
the kind of secondary education the country should offer, drawing on
lessons learnt from prior experience and current developmental issues.
5. Propose relevant changes in teacher training, following the adoption of
the new model for secondary education.
6. Make an assessment of the inputs necessary for curriculum changes in
the secondary schools and estimate the resources that will be needed.
7. Design, implement and enforce a time-bound action plan to introduce
the new curriculum and all its modalities.

Strategic Issue: To accelerate the mainstreaming/inclusion of persons with special
needs into the education system.
Proposed Strategies
1. Appoint a high level task force, with representation from the Ministries
of Health, Education and Human Services, to review the current draft
national policy on the disabled, especially as it relates to education,
and propose an inter-sectoral approach to implementing some of the
2. Launch a national awareness campaign.

3. Evaluate each school for exceptional children, and develop a plan to
maximise its use.
4. Design programmes in the teacher-training institutions to train the
necessary personnel at each level of the system: specialists, special
teachers, regular classroom teachers, counselors, etc.
5. Develop special guidelines to help teachers to deal with slow learners,
pupils with certain types of disruptive behaviours, and children with
exceptional needs.
6. Hold an annual screening exercise in all schools to determine which
incoming children are in need of special support.
7. Carry out a national survey to determine the size of the population
with exceptional needs.
8. Provide day-care for children with exceptional needs.

Social Issues

Strategic Issue: To increase stakeholders' level of participation and commitment.
Proposed Strategies
1. Strengthen the National Advisory Commission on Education (NACE) as
a permanent stakeholder voice in the system and a way to increase
societal support for the Ministry.
2. In each region and school, create a body similar to NACE, with
members of these groups (parents, community members) helping to
improve their schools and in particular, playing a part in the
development of SIPs.
3. At the regional level, encourage and support the development in each
school of a programme aimed at helping parents become more
conscious of their responsibilities and be better equipped to perform
their roles in the family, the school and the community.
4. Evaluate the present situation of PTAs and issue a MoE policy
statement supporting them and offering guidelines to all regions and

Strategic Issue: To increase the level of respect for and tolerance of diversity.
Proposed Strategies
1. Include respect for and tolerance of diversity in the whole curriculum
from nursery to university, not as a subject, but as a component of the
affective behaviour that every child and young person must develop
while in school.
2. Ensure that the organisation and registration of all schools always
reflect the desire of Guyana to be one people and one nation, i.e.,
schools must be inclusive, and no child should be kept out on the basis
of ethnicity, religion etc.
3. Make the education system as a whole and each of its institutions role
models for tolerance, with mechanisms in place to avoid all kinds of
discrimination and to foster cultural and social exchanges among all
social groups.
4. Ensure that programmes for parents deal with issues of tolerance and

5. Establish a yearly contest to identify and reward schools and
communities that deal best with these issues.
6. Hold special workshops for teachers.

Human Resources Issues

Strategic Issue: To produce competent teachers and give them better support.
Proposed Strategies
1. Appoint a commission with representatives of CPCE, UG and NCERD to
develop an action plan to train the teachers the sector needs, using 3
approaches: one, urgent development of options for training a
significant number of current teachers, using all available resources
and installations, including distance education and regional centres,
and with each region making an input into the design of this national
effort; two, common approaches among existing institutions to the
preparation of teachers entering the system at each level; and three,
development of a system for existing teachers to develop professionally.
2. Improve the quality of supervision provided in the regions, and provide
personnel and transportation to ensure that each regional office
periodically visits the region's schools.
3. Link schools to nearby institutions capable of communication with the
regional educational offices.
4. Develop a means for teachers to obtain the necessary teaching/learning
materials for themselves and their students, and in each region, study
how its schools can be supplied with energy, water and other critical
5. In training institutions, pay special attention to the development of a
programme to train secondary school teachers in sufficient numbers.

Strategic Issue: To reduce the loss of valuable human resources from the system.
Proposed Strategies
1. Establish an HRD unit in the Ministry, with the goal of improved
management of the human resources available and decreasing the
losses that the system suffers every year.
2. Establish a training centre in the HRD for all non-teaching needs of the
3. Reduce the loss of teachers to a minimum through the following steps:
a. Ensure that each candidate receiving training (in and/or before
incorporation into the system) sign a contract making him/her
legally obliged to work for a number of years determined by the
type of training received. If that condition is not met the person
and the hiring agency must pay compensation.
b. Evaluate forms of compensation and other incentives for teachers
and other MoE employees, in order to offer the best possible
conditions by building a comprehensive and feasible reward
c. Launch a campaign to develop a sense of vision throughout the
system, and to encourage teachers to remain.
4. Provide teachers willing to go to hinterland and riverain areas with
special incentives and support to facilitate their acclimatisation. A

proposal should be drafted by the Ministry on this issue and pushed
for approval.
5. Provide living quarters for teachers in remote areas.

Management Issues

Strategic Issue: To improve the managerial capabilities of the Ministry of Education.
Proposed Strategies
1. Form a high-level task group having access to any outside help needed
and available, with the urgent responsibility of examining the different
recommendations on re-organisation of the MoE, and of producing a
time-bound plan to introduce whatever changes are considered
2. To meet all the managerial needs of personnel development, create a
training unit in the HRD of the MoE with the necessary human and
material resources. The first task of this group should be to develop a
comprehensive plan that will lead to the institutionalisation of the unit
and the training of the necessary personnel at MoE.
3. Institute training for personnel with managerial and administrative
duties through a specific programme included each year in the action
4. In each unit of the MoE, use a participatory process to develop a vision
of the unit that fits into the overall picture of the institution and
describes its role in the Ministry. From that vision it will derive the
activities and changes required to be more effective in the future.
5. Develop an adequate system for the MoE to generate the necessary
information for managers and decision-makers. This task should be
performed by the MIS department supported by the consultant in the
6. Develop a programme for an effective financial system in the Ministry.
This task should be carried out by the finance department supported
by the consultant in the area, and the initiative should be carefully
designed and implemented in a timely fashion.
7. Develop an adequate system of human resources management for the
MoE, so that these valuable resources can be used in the best way
possible, all relevant information is available to managers and decision-
makers in the institution, and actions can be completed in a timely and
acceptable manner. This task should be carried out by the personnel
department supported by the consultant in the area.

Strategic Issue: To decentralise the management of the system.
Proposed Strategies
1. Name a task force, including REdOs in its membership, to urgently
study and propose an adequate structure and mode of functioning for
all regional offices, the report to cover all issues related to making
these units effective.
2. Institute a training programme to support all the regional offices by
providing their personnel with special training as soon as they are
selected. The Ministry will form a team to carry out the training in the

3. Organise for each regional office to apply the strategic and action plans
to its own region, starting with a school map that will identify its
current needs. At the end of an established period the regional offices
will have developed their own action plans and will be ready to start
implementing them.
4. Institute an approach by the MoE to the TSC to look for ways in which
regional directors can be empowered to appoint acting teachers.
5. Clarify lines of authority for the REdOs, defining more clearly the
respective roles of the Regional Councils and the Ministry. This
initiative might require changes in current legislation.
6. Evaluate procedures for the allocation of funds to make the
improvement of the regional services easier.
7. Develop a vision of responsibility and accountability in all regions,
based on their commitment to the advancement of education in their
regions and localities.

Support Issues

Strategic Issue: To obtain the support of other government agencies and civil society
for the MoE at the central, regional and local levels.
Proposed Strategies
1. Obtain central government approval for the MoE to carry out several
experiments to see how the new system of management can be
implemented. This decision will open the door to a new structure and a
different kind of organisation.
2. Create or hire a specialised unit in the MoE to develop and produce
public campaigns to obtain support for MoE and the institutional
initiatives that will take place in the period. This unit should present
plans on the issues identified by MoE as priorities, with the aim of
obtaining public support at all times.
3. Maintain a line of communication between the MoF and the MoE, with
the best persons from MoE designated to have systematic exchanges
with their counterparts from MoF, in order to be able to secure its
support at all times. The same needs to be done with the PSM in order
to help them to understand whatever changes are undertaken in the
MoE. It is important to have their support at all times so that
structures can be revitalised.
4. Develop a mechanism whereby the regions can appoint their acting
teachers with final approval coming from the TSC. There is a very
strong recommendation by several people that the REdOs be given the
power to appoint acting teachers. At present, the Commission is the
only agency empowered by the Constitution to carry out this function,
although it has previously delegated this authority.

Strategic Issue: To obtain adequate financial resources.
Proposed Strategies
1. Use the proposed public awareness unit as a fund raising unit, after
some special training.

2. Improve the existing working relationship of the MoE with the MoF and
seek ways to improve how resources are assigned to and managed by
3. Institute financial planning in order to minimise problems in the
annual development of educational activities caused by delays in the
approval of the yearly national budgets.
4. Improve the MoE's rapport with donors and insert them into the
dynamics of the strategic plan in a way that permits their grants and
loans to be used in a timely manner, and in the best interests of the
educational initiatives of the country.
5. List possible contributors to the educational effort and start or develop
relationships with them.
6. Start several national programmes, including an adoption programme
(enterprises adopting particular schools); donations for specific
projects; a national book fund; and development of teaching material.
7. Consider the introduction of contingency fees at certain levels and/or
new special taxes.


Donor/Loan Agency
Name of Project Value of Project Status/ Remarks
1.Primary Education IDB (Loan) US$5 1.million This project originally involved the
Improvement Project construction/rehabilitation, 'equipping and
(PEIP) furnishing of about 52 schools, development of
textbooks, training of education personnel,
strengthening of CPCE, NCERD and some Central
Ministry Departments. IDB's contribution was
US$46 million.
Over 60 schools have been constructed or
repaired. Civil works included construction of a
new library at CPCE and studios for distance
education programmes and office space at NCERD.
Because of a significant reduction in construction
costs approximately US$23 million was made
available for additional activities which conformed
to the objectives of the original programme. These
included the introduction of computers in some
schools. Another major component is
strengthening the institutional capacity of the
Ministry. The project comes to an end this year

2. Guyana In-Service DFID 446,000 (Phase 1) G$60 This project aims at improving the quality of
Distance Education million to date (Phase 2) education at the secondary level by providing in-
project (GUIDE). service school based training for untrained,
unqualified practicing teachers using a mix of
distance education methods and face to face
sessions with tutors.
The current phase of this project involves
approximately XXX teachers in Regions 3, 4, 5, 6,
and 10. This was preceded by a pilot phase in
Regions 5 and 6 from 1995 to 1997.

3. Secondary Schools
Reform Programme.

4. Guyana Education
Access Project.

(Loan) IDA

DFID (grant)

US$19 million (approximately

Approximately US$14.6

This project aims at a significant upgrading of
education in the first three grades of the secondary
level. It is being pilot tested in
12 schools. Components of the project include
curriculum reform, acquisition of equipment and
teaching/learning materials (including
textbooks), teacher training, and institutional
strengthening of the MoE, in particular the MIS.
Training of teachers and school administrators has
started and work is also ongoing on the design and
costing of repairs of special pilot and non-pilot

This project supports MOE's policy of implement -
ing a common curriculum in the first three grades
at the secondary level. It will be closely articulated
with the SSRP which has similar objectives.
Curriculum/texts etc. developed for the SSRP pilot
schools will be introduced into schools in these
two towns. Some school improvement planning
and teacher training strategies will be common to
both projects. Approximately 3000 students, a
con- siderable proportion of whom would be
under-achieving male students, will benefit from
the project.

5.Guyana "Basic
Education Teacher


C$4.5 million

This project focuses on strengthening the system for
in-service unqualified primary school teachers.
Because of the large numbers of unqualified teachers
In the remote hinterland and riverain areas, the project
Will lay emphasis on enabling the teachers training
Institute to develop a distance education capacity to
Offer the in-service training through a combination of
print based learning modules, local tutorials, and a
summer session that will be classroom based.

The project will also provide for technical assistance in
Testing and measurement and in the training of school
Inspectors and principals.

NOTE: Urban in the sense that the project is to be located in two towns; however, the benefits will extend to the nearby rural

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