Primary School

Primary education is compulsory and requires attendance for six years. Over the last five years education in Guyana has been undergoing continuous reform. The six-year programme is no longer organised as "Preparatory A and B, and Standards 1 to 4" - it is now Grades 1 to 6. Part of this reform has meant that the Secondary School Entrance Education (SSEE) 11+ or common entrance exam is no longer used to award places in secondary schools, instead primary school students now take the Grade Six (Level 6) assessment to gain a secondary school place. One of the objectives of this reform is to tackle the problem of overcrowding at oversubscribed schools.

There are essentially three types of primary schools: the first and most common one is the primary school which provides a typical primary education - from Grades 1 to 6, then there is the primary school which has a primary and a secondary department, and the primary school which has a nursery and secondary department.

The curriculum of primary schools in Guyana is designed to impart basic literacy and numeracy skills, and also aims to prepare students for secondary education. This literacy and numeracy training is complemented with lessons in Social Studies and Integrated Science. Though Guyana is considered to have met its Millennium Development Goal for universal primary education, the challenge for primary education remains equity of access in terms of curriculum delivery, quality and relevance. Equity of access is a problem largely as a result of how the primary education system is structured, as well as uneven resource availability based on geography - that is, schools on Guyana's coasts and in urban areas tend to be better resourced than schools in the hinterland or in rural areas.