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