Washington, December 14, 2023, The World Bank has approved a new operation to support reforms within the education sector in Guyana. The reforms aim to improve learning outcomes by investing in timely and efficient access to quality materials, teacher training and upgrading school facilities. These actions will help build a more efficient and equitable education system, in line with the Government of Guyana’s vision to provide quality, equitable education and lifelong learning for all.
Like many countries, Guyana faces challenges in the education sector. COVID-19 disrupted learning through the extended closing of schools, disproportionately impacting disadvantaged and vulnerable students, with those in the hinterland having education outcomes below the national average. Employers also note that the skills needed for the job market often need to be found abroad, suggesting a need to better link the needs of Guyana’s rapidly evolving labor market to schools’ skills curriculum and training options.
“Investing in education is investing in the country’s future. Ensuring the people of Guyana are skilled and highly educated goes a long way toward increasing the development outcomes of the country”, said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.
To help Guyana bridge these gaps and ensure access to quality education for all, the project will enhance the availability of affordable textbooks for all students and ensure the deployment of qualified teachers across the country, particularly in hinterland areas.
The project will also support reforms related to upgraded school facilities, including but not limited to infrastructure and connectivity. Further, to ensure that the curriculum builds skills that can support Guyana’s youth in the labor market, the project will also help to roll out a new technical and vocational education and training policy framework, building upon the country’s existing policy.
The Honorable Priya Manickchand, Guyana’s Minister of Education, remarked, “This World Bank budget support for education in Guyana acts as a catalyst for positive change. It will bolster economic growth, strengthen governance and accountability, enhance infrastructure, invest in human capital, and uplift communities in need. Through fostering partnerships and providing financial assistance, this loan assists in the fulfillment of government's promises, realisation of its visions and contributes towards allowing Guyana to unlock its true potential, paving the way towards a resilient, inclusive, and prosperous future.”
To help the Ministry of Education keep track of the evolution and changes in the sector, this operation will provide an information system for data sharing for schools, which will help with targeting resources, as well as developing early intervention strategies to bolster student retention, with a specific focus on secondary education.
The $35 Million project is financed by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). IDA credits have zero or very low-interest charges, and repayments are stretched over 30 to 40 years.
Learn more about the work of the World Bank in Latin America and the Caribbean: https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/caribbean