Addresses delivered in the general policy debate by the Head of Delegation at the General Conference
37 session of the General Conference Her Excellency, Ms Priya Manickchand, Minister of Education of Guyana Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 37th session of the General Conference - revised and corrected version of the verbatim records of plenary meetings
35 session of the General Conference H.E. Mr Shaik Baksh, Minister of Education
“I wish on behalf of Guyana, to thank Director-General Matsuura for the human service to UNESCO during his two terms in office. I also would like to congratulate and welcome the incoming Director-General Irina Bokova (…).”
“Guyana has made significant progress in achieving the six EFA goals. (…) Guyana has achieved Universal Primary Education. (…). The education sector enjoys the highest percentage of the budget and the GDP. Education is also provided free by the state from early childhood to post secondary levels. University education is heavily subsidized. Education is also compulsory by law from age 5 years 9 months to 15 years.”
“The EFA Goal of gender parity has also been achieved in both primary and secondary education while at University level girls outnumber boys. (…). The challenge confronting Guyana is the EFA Goals of Quality Education. (…) Meeting what UNESCO has called the quality imperative is fundamental if the education sector is to contribute to meeting the lifelong learning needs of the population (…).”
“Promoting equity and overcoming inequality is at the heart of education policy in Guyana. Clear targets backed by practical strategies have been set for reducing disparities between rural-urban centres and rich-poor areas and different ethnic groups through more equitable allocation of financial and other resources and placement of trained teachers.(…). As UNESCO 2009 Global Monitoring Report states “Good governance practices can help foster development of more inclusive, more responsive education systems that address the real needs of the marginalized”. In Guyana, the education system is decentralized giving more power and responsibility to local and regional governments; vibrant parent teachers associations are encouraged; community alliances are promoted and school based management are being expanded. Building partnerships is a core element in the education sector. (…). Guyana has one of the highest rates of migration of teachers and university graduates. I urge UNESCO to continue to support efforts in this area.”
“(…) Guyana led by its president His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo has been at the forefront of climate change debates and has widely formulated and disseminated, including at the recent United Nations meeting in Low Carbon Development Strategy, which is to be tabled at Copenhagen in December.”
34 session of the General Conference H.E. Mr Shaik Baksh, Minister of Education
Guyana congratulates UNESCO on its excellent leadership role in promoting the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Literacy Decade and the Education for All programmes.
Guyana has received substantial donor support for education to progress towards the Millennium Development and Education for All Goals. The Government of Guyana has demonstrated its commitment to achieve these goals by allocating a large percentage of the national budget to the education sector.
Guyana records a net enrolment of 94% in 2005 and promotes firmly gender equality and women empowerment across the country. In Guyana women are active and are represented in every sphere of educational and economic activity. Guyana is also concerned about improving quality education. Technical and vocational subjects are now also part of the national curriculum.
The CARICOM countries are harmonizing their technical and vocational programmes that will strengthen the link between education and private sector for further economic development.
Guyana is seriously affected by teacher immigration and needs to train more teachers. UNESCO must continue to support efforts in this area by highlighting the problems faced by developing countries and advocating for rich countries to compensate this loss with funds and programmes.
“Financial resources along, […] will not succeed in achieving the EFA goals by 2015. […] Guyana therefore welcomes the initiative taken by UNESCO through the International Institute for Educational Planning to undertake a major study on capacity development for achieving this programme.”
Guyana compliments UNESCO for the excellent work it has been doing in fulfilment of the mandate set by the World Economic Forum in Dakar in 2000. It helped to coordinate and mobilize different partners at the national, regional and international levels.
Guyana is finally asking UNESCO’s assistance to preserve the country’s rich natural sites and set up a biodiversity centre and promotion of science, technology and innovation.