By Anara Khan
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (DPI) – To mitigate the impact of future crises and ensure the continuity of education, the ministry of education (MoE) on Friday launched its National Risk Management Policy for the local education sector.
The policy was presented at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).
During brief remarks, chief education officer, Dr Marcel Hutson said the ministry of education recognised the need for a plan across all levels to withstand future crises.
“It is essential for the ministry of education to have sufficient institutional, organisational and individual capacities to come to such problems at the central and regional levels.”
Dr Hutson noted that it was paramount that the policy be developed through a collaborative effort among heads of department of the education ministry, representatives of the regional and district education offices, and technical partners such as The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
“This approach was critical since it received buy-in from those who will be mainly responsible for its implementation. This policy embraces access, which focuses on ensuring equitable access to education and to a safe and protective learning environment for all… which is fundamentally linked to effective teaching and learning processes in the midst of prices, and finally, that of management that centers on improving capacities for managing crises in the education context.”
A series of consultations were held, outlining key programmatic areas that will support the ministry. There are three programmatic areas, access to education, quality teaching and learning, and management and coordination.
Assistant chief education officer – Nursery, Samantha Williams said the National Risk Management Policy is also closely aligned with the education strategic plan.
The policy has two built-in features that will help to support its implementation; detailed projects communication and training strategy.
“So, we intend to use the finances that are available to us to ensure that entire Guyana and all those who have a role to play are informed of this policy and that they are trained to help us to implement this policy,” Williams said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of establishing frameworks to strengthen disaster risk reduction measures within the sector. The policy will become a reference document which will provide regional education officers with the tools to plan and manage risks specific to the geographic areas.