Truancy more pronounced in city
- campaign finds
Guyana Chronicle
February 15, 2002

THE anti-truancy campaign the Education Ministry launched in Georgetown last October has been extended to the rural communities and is going smoothly, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Hydar Ally has reported.

Five administrative regions have been covered and Ally said that based on reports so far, the problem of truancy (skulking) is not as pronounced in the rural communities as it was found in Georgetown.

He suggested that the reason for this might be complex because of the different sociological and economic structures in the capital and in the rural communities.

However, he noted that in Corriverton in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) there is a significant dropout rate.

The ministry will be examining and analysing the situation to determine what is the reason for the high dropout rate there, he told the Chronicle.

Ally said there are also some difficulties with attendance at schools in Amerindian communities, but explained that this has to do more with the culture and the Amerindian nomadic way of life.

He said the anti-truancy campaign has impacted positively on society and there is already evidence of improved attendance.

The Permanent Secretary is also heartened by the support from other agencies, including the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, the Police, the City Council and parents and the general public.

The campaign has turned out to be more of a collaborative effort, he reported.

Ally said that unlike in the past, a proactive approach to truancy is being pursued and in this regard some new measures will be introduced during this year.

One has already been implemented with the appointment of a School Welfare Officer in each region, whose responsibility is to coordinate welfare programmes within their respective regions.

In addition, the ministry is considering appointing a teacher in every school to be responsible for welfare matters, Ally said. (CHAMANLALL NAIPAUL)