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Government of Guyana’s policy on post-secondary education as a tool for national economic and social development - Policy Impact and Conclusion

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Policy Impact

Lovell et. Al (2010) says that public policy, whether in education or otherwise, is usually in response to some societal problem or shortcoming that the policy aims to remedy by stipulating a recommended course of action (p. 3). In developing countries such as Guyana, a ministry responsible for education usually identifies such problems or shortcomings related to education and then prescribe policies to remedy these problems or shortcomings. As mentioned before, the government would outline the vision of the policy on how education would be used as a tool for national social and economic development, providing the framework for its implementation and then pass it on to the Ministry of Education for the implementation of the details of this policy.

The main impact of the proposed aforementioned education policy would be the advancement of the intellectual skill set of the Guyanese people leading to national social and economic development. If properly implemented, the policy would lead to a larger number of Guyanese being educated to higher levels enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty leading to a larger middle class and a booming economy.

If properly developed and implemented, the aforementioned education policy would also ensure that quality, affordable post-secondary education is equally available and affordable to all Guyanese citizens. It would ensure that students who are qualified and would like to pursue post-secondary education can do so and are not deterred by the cost. The policy would facilitate the development of private post-secondary education institutions in a way that protects the interest of the Guyanese education consumer from education commodification.

If properly developed and implemented, the aforementioned education policy would lead to bodies in place to measure the quality of post-secondary education being provided by private and government-run institutions. The resulting quality control bodies would ensure that students coming out of the post-secondary education system are well educated and equiped with the skills and knowledge specified by the learning outcomes of their specific programs.

Finally, the aforementioned education policy would lead to a bridging of the gap between secondary school and university and between secondary school and the work force. This gap can be filled by private and/or public post-secondary institutions that offer courses in line with the policy specifically geared to enhancing the skill set of the Guyanese work force and the bridging of the gap between secondary school and university and between secondary school and the work force.

Conclusion

Governments play an important role in developing post-secondary education policy that aids in the development of their nations. In Guyana, the only available documented policy on education is the ‘Guyana Education Sector Plan 2014-2018’, which only gives about two sentences regarding post-secondary education policy. A more detailed post-secondary education policy is therefore proposed that, among other things (i) provides a clear 10 to 20 year vision for post-secondary education in Guyana; (ii) provides a framework for the advancement of post-secondary education as a tool for national social and economic development; (iii) guarantees quality, affordable post-secondary education that is equally available and affordable to all citizens; (iv) facilitates the transition between high school and skilled employment or the university; and (v) facilitates private sector education entrepreneurship and development while protecting the country and its citizens from education commodification.

References

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BBC. (n.d.). Ethics: A general introduction. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/intro_1.shtml

Bogue, E. G. (1998). Quality Assurance in Higher Education: The Evolution of Systems and Design Ideals. New Directions For Institutional Research, 1998(99), 7.

Chapman, D. W., & Austin, A. E. (Eds.). (2002). Higher education in the developing world: Changing contexts and institutional responses. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Lovell, C., Larson, T. E., Dean, D. R., & Longanecker, D. (2010). Public policy and higher education. Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Learning Solutions.

Mellow, G. O., & Katopes, P. (2009). A prescription for the emerging world: The global potential of the community college model. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 41(5), 55-59.

Ministry of Education. (n.d.). Guyana Education Sector Plan 2014 - 2018 (Guyana, Ministry of Education). Retrieved from http://web.moeguyana.org/index.php/downloads/doc_download/803-education-sector-plan-2014-2018

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Spangler, M. S., & Tyler, A. Q. (2011). Identifying fit of mission and environment: Applying the American community college model internationally. New Directions For Higher Education, 2011(155), 41-52. doi:10.1002/he.443

Tham, S. Y. (2013). Internationalizing higher education in Malaysia: Government policies and university’s response. Journal of Studies in International Education, 17(5), 648-662. doi: 10.1177/1028315313476954

The World Bank. (2016, March 31). Guyana Overview. Retrieved from http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/guyana/overview