Internet Radio

World Bank financing secondary education access, East Coast Dem flood reduction programmes

Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh (centre), Sophie Sirtaine, Director of the Caribbean Country Management Unit of the World Bank (immediately left of him) and other officials of the bank and Guyana government.

The World Bank has agreed to provide US$21 million to help Guyana  increase secondary school enrolment and improve mathematics teaching as well as well as reduce flooding on the East Coast Demerara, the Finance Ministry said Saturday.

The agreement signed in Washington this week by Minister Singh with Sophie Sirtaine, Director of the Caribbean Country Management Unit of the World Bank, is to support increased enrollment in general secondary schools and improve standards of mathematics teaching for secondary education.

In the agriculture sector, the loan agreement will support the implementation of a flood risk management program.

“On behalf of the Government of Guyana, I would like to extend my gratitude for the support of the World Bank towards these two important sectors which Government views as vital to the development of Guyana,” said Minister Singh at the signing.

“These agreements serves to reinforce the commitment of the current governing administration towards the demonstrable development of Guyana’s infrastructural and social sectors.”

EDUCATION

One of the agreements signed is for a loan of US$10 million in support of the Secondary School Improvement Program which aims to increase enrollment in general secondary schools and improve teaching standards of mathematics at the secondary level.

The Secondary School Improvement Project forms part of the Government of Guyana’s long term initiative to achieve Universal Secondary Education by 2016. About 85 percent of young Guyanese are enrolled in secondary education. Guyana has already achieved universal primary education in keeping with the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

Minister Singh at the signing noted that the two projects form part of the Guyana Government’s ongoing effort to ensure improved standard of living for all Guyanese.

“The Government of Guyana has over the years demonstrated a firm commitment to education as a national priority and views access to a quality education as vital to the development of our country’s youth and to the general development of Guyana,” Minister Singh noted.

Among concrete results to be achieved by the project are the following:

• 2,600 new students from vulnerable areas enrolled in general secondary schools.

• A pilot technology-assisted learning in mathematics

• 600 secondary mathematics teachers trained, mathematics standards for secondary school teachers increased, and
   math kits distributed to 250 secondary schools.

FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (FRMP)

A second loan signed by Minister Singh is for US$11M to reduce flooding along the flood prone East Coast of Demerara.

More than 300,000 people from the area will benefit from reduced flooding and climate risks as a result of the loan which forms part of the International Development Association (IDA) approved by the World Bank.

Minister Singh noted that close to 90% of Guyana’s population lives on coastal plain which is largely below sea level and vulnerable to the effects of climate change. He noted that in 2005, Guyana faced devastation from flooding that led to damages in excess of 60% of GDP.

“The Government of Guyana is working to ensure that measures are put in place to ensure that the floods of 2005 and such destruction to both human and physical resources never occur again,” Minister Singh said.

The Flood Risk Management Program seeks to:

• Upgrade critical sections of the East Demerara Water Conservancy dams and channels.

• Improve drainage capacity in priority areas along the East Demerara coast.

• Increase flood preparedness by installing instruments to monitor hydro-meteorological data.