WASHINGTON, June 24, CMC – Suriname has secured a loan worth 13.7 million US dollars from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to improve the quality of its education for its children from ages four to 16.
The funding will pay for training all of the Dutch-speaking CARICOM nation’s approximately 5,000 primary school teachers, introducing a national primary curriculum, bringing computers into classrooms, and improving test scores in Dutch and mathematics. It will also house teachers in the remote interior.
The programme, the IDB said, is intended to lower dropout and repetition rates, and raise the number of students who complete primary school and enrol in junior secondary school.
The Washington-based financial institution said the funds will support the government’s plan to strengthen the efficiency and quality of the new basic education system and improve the perfomance of students in pre-primary (4–5 year-olds), primary (6–12), and junior secondary (13–16).
The IDB said the lending will finance a two-phased programme but this loan will fund the first phase, which is to focus on the primary school system.
Phase one is to develop a curriculum for the entire basic education system and increase test scores for students in grades one to eight.
During this phase, the government also plans to build teacher housing in the Surinamese hinterland.
Phase II moves to junior secondary schools where it hopes to improving test scores for students from ages 13 to 16.
“Improving the learning outcomes in core subjects of Dutch and mathematics, training all of Suriname’s approximately 5,000 primary school teachers, supporting efforts to streamline the education system, and exploring the use of information and communication technologies in schools will dramatically improve graduates’ ability to access the labour market,” said IDB project team leader Annelle Bellony.
In addition, the IDB said, under the programme 5,000 teachers will be trained in participatory teaching methodologies; 10 schools will pilot ICTs in education modules; new schools will be built, and fully equipped and existing schools renovated and expanded; and 150 schools will be linked to a student performance tracking system.