The Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Finance has approached the Inter – American Development Bank (IDB) for grant aid support to assess the Basic Education Access Support (BEAMS) programme.
According to the mid -year economic report presented recently by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, the US$450,000 grant in technical assistance, when approved, will be used to determine the extent to which programmes designed under the BEAMS are being implemented.
Further the grant will finance an ex-post examination of the successes, gaps in the programme design and implementation, and make recommendations for improving the outcomes of BEAMS.
Ministry of Finance
Formal help for technical assistance support was made to the IDB’s Italian Trust Fund, by the Ministry of Finance in June, and the request is currently being reviewed by the Bank’s technical team.
Information gathered from the technical assistance will be used to aid in the design and implementation of a new project in the education sector.
The BEAMS project was embarked on in 2003 with specific objectives aimed at improving literacy and numeracy among the school age population.
The Education Development Center’s (EDC) website said the School Performance Component of BEAMS provided an integrated programme to enhance early literacy and numeracy among Guyana’s school-age population, including those from remote and poverty-stricken regions.
EDC is a global non-profit research and development organisation that addresses some of the world’s most urgent challenges in education, health, and economic opportunity. It manages about 350 projects in 35 countries, 1500 staff and an annual funding level of approximately US$168 million (FY 2010).
The International Development Division (IDD) of the EDC provided technical support to improve quality teaching and learning with appropriate technologies. To that end, IDD developed daily Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) programmes which provided core mathematics instruction for Grades One t0 Three in all Guyanese government schools.
As a group, students participated in math exercises, songs, and games led by radio characters, while teachers facilitated the interaction.
Based on a large, nationwide sample of first-graders tested after just the first year of the programme, significant improvements were seen in mathematics as Guyana’s nearly 18,000 first grade pupils benefitted from the IRI programme.
The BEAMS programme also established computer labs with instructional software in 14 schools and used lower-cost technologies in 120 additional schools. The programme provided training in the use of these tools to support high-quality literacy and numeracy instruction. BEAMS also used CD-ROMs and digital video to enhance teachers’ professional development.