The Government of Guyana is currently in the process of reforming the curriculum used in local schools. The first phase of this five-year process will be rolled out in September, says Chief Education Officer (CEO) of the Ministry of Education Marcel Hutson. 

The Curriculum Reform project is intended to improve student achievement at nursery, primary, and at lower secondary levels. This will be achieved by implementing a phased revision of the curriculum, defined not only as the content students are expected to learn in each subject and grade level but also the way in which that content is taught. Emphasis will be placed on interactive, student-centred pedagogies, social inclusion, and gender-informed approaches.

The local education syllabus has not been reformed since 1976, and these steps taken are considered timely.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony yesterday in Georgetown to honour students who wrote the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), Hutson said that the plans are moving apace and the parties involved are eyeing the new school term to roll out the initiative. 

“In terms of where we at now, I think we’re about September to pilot the first phase. It has to be done in a phase-way. One who is involved in curriculum reform would recognise that this is not a click of the finger and things change suddenly – it’s a process. So sometime in September we will pilot Grades One and Two and we’ll continue to move on,” He said.  

Hutson added that the plan is to capture up to Grade Nine. 

Quizzed on whether there is full stakeholder participation, the official answered in the affirmative while stressing the importance of conducting the process correctly. 

He told media operatives that the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) has been integrally involved in the process and that the Ministry has been meeting regularly with the bloc to advance the programme. 

“Last Tuesday, we met with the Guyana Teachers Union and we actually have a statutory date when we meet with the GTU in terms of their involvement in the process. I think initially we had expressed concern that they were not integrally involved but that has since changed,” Hutson said. 

Teachers, he further explained, are also involved in the process. In fact, he noted that it is the teachers who are writing the curriculum.  

“This is not something that is falling out of the sky where somebody from somewhere is writing for us – it is our teachers who are using their experiences; they are using all they have learnt over the years to put the information that would be critical to the transformation…Our teachers are involved,” the official clarified.

Hutson’s announcement comes against the backdrop of the fact that more than 50 per cent of the 14,300 NGSA candidates failed in three main subject areas – namely, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. 

The programme is being made possible through the Guyana Education Sector Improvement (GESIP) project.


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