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Guyana Education Facts


Most children in Guyana attend preschool for at least a year. Normal school starts when the children are five to six years old and compulsory schooling rules for ten years. Although there is a certain dropout, most children attend school.

The school is divided into a first six-year stage which is followed by first a three-year equivalent high school and then between two and four years of high school. A large majority of children also attend at least a couple of years in high school.

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Guyana has, in principle, achieved the UN Millennium Goals on basic schooling for all, but the quality of education is still poor. Although literacy is formally high, a large proportion of the population is regarded as functional illiterate, which means that reading and writing ability is so limited that it constitutes an obstacle in the labor market and in society in general.

Education has been free of charge since 1975, but during the 1980s, the school system was undermined by low grants and mass emigration by highly educated, including teachers. There has been some recovery since the 1990s, but the teacher shortage is still great at all levels. Teachers are underpaid and can have up to 60 students in their classes.

More than 80 percent of the Guyanans who have a college education move abroad. It is a contributing cause of the teacher shortage.

There is a university in Georgetown with a branch in the eastern part of the country as well as some private colleges. After the turn of the millennium, for the first time, certain university courses were charged fees. Many students study abroad.

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Proportion of children starting primary school

91.5 percent (2012)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

23 (2012)

Reading and writing skills

85.6 percent (2014)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

0.0 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

0.0 percent (2017)

Guyana Best Colleges and Universities