Education Ministry seeks community help to get pupils back in school

The Ministry of Education on Friday commenced its ‘Operation Recovery’ programme visiting the homes of Grade Six pupils who have been continuously absent from school and those who have missed the recent National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) mock examination.

To guarantee the success of the initiative, Education Minister Priya Manickchand urges parents and community members to cooperate with the Ministry. “We’re asking all of Guyana, parents, teachers, churches, mandirs, mosques, NGOs, CDCs, everybody to get onboard with us. There is no way we can change the lives of these children except to get them in education and we are very sure at the Ministry of Education that this is something that we can do,” she said after visiting several homes on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) early Friday morning.

The minister was joined by Regional Education Officer, Mr. Akbar Chinu and other education officials.

During the visits, it was found that there are other pupils who are out of school, however, they cannot be marked absent since some classes remain on rotation.

“Now, two things are happening, in searching for the Grade Six children, we are seeing other children who could not go to school –we just don’t have them on the list, –or who are accessing no education because they have little access to online services. Right now, we can’t mark students absent in other grades because they’re rotating so there’s at no point we can say you’re absent, plus persons have the ability to stay home,” Manickchand noted.

She pointed to the implications of learning loss which has harsh consequences for future generations.

“We are certain in Guyana that we do not want to be a statistic, we can take measures to mitigate against those harsh consequences. One of the thing is, we’re insisting that no child at the Common Entrance or NGSA level will drop out of school and that is why we’re engaged in this activity,” Minister Manickchand noted.

When school fully reopens, the exercise will be extended to all other grades.