Preprimary & Primary Education
Of Guyana's 386 nursery schools, more than 200 are in rural areas. Children are admitted at three years nine months and may remain in the system for two years. Although nursery education is not compulsory, each Guyanese child is guaranteed a place in school, with attendance remaining above 70 percent and continuing to increase. This, despite the fact that transportation is difficult in many cases, fewer than half the teachers are trained, and the school buildings are often makeshift and in poor condition. The nursery program is intended to encourage physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development; teach basic skills; and instill the desire to learn. The hours of school are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Guyana's nursery school teachers are responsible for teaching more than 50,000 children. The student-teacher ratio is 17:1.
In primary school, children receive instruction in basic literacy and arithmetic. Guyana's 426 primary schools administer more than 100,000 pupils who have reached the age of five years and nine months. The student-teacher ratio is 29:1. Students attend school five hours per day from Monday to Friday, usually from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with a lunch period from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The school year lasts from September to July, followed by a six-week vacation at the end of the third term. Each term is 13 weeks long, and a school year has 189 days.
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