“When we spend money we have to ensure that we are getting value for money.” This was the assertion of Minister of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry, as she addressed a final meeting of the Regional Education Officers [REdOs] held yesterday.
At the meeting held at the Mirage Banquet Hall, Alberttown, Georgetown, Minister Henry urged the education officials that they should work towards maintaining transparency and efficiency as they execute their various plans. In fact, she went further to remind them that the Ministry is usually afforded a higher budgetary allocation than the other sectors.
She said, “To whom much is given, much is required. That allocation is a huge responsibility and therefore every single penny must count. I want it to count with transparency and efficiency.”
The Minister therefore encouraged the officers to work along with their plans for the new year and urged them to prioritise activities according to what is most needed and work towards completing projects within established timelines. Some of the important activities highlighted were provisions for examinations and buildings maintenance schedules.
At the meeting, the Minister also applauded the successes realised this year and sought to impress upon the officers that there is still a lot more work to be done in the education sector. She said that although there have been improvements in the performance at examinations, the Ministry cannot only be concerned with examinations. In fact she told the REdOs that it is important that each school be viewed individually to ensure they meet at least the minimum standards.
She said too, “We have to ensure that what is happening in the classroom is really preparing the students for life outside of the classroom. And so the school health unit, the school support, the welfare department, NCERD, Allied Arts and so forth are very important to what we do here in education.”
The REdO’s meeting is a forum that is held frequently that brings the senior officers from the 11 Education Districts across Guyana to share ideas and thoughts about the work of the Ministry which are being executed and to find ways of addressing existing gaps.