CDB Loan to Fund New Schools, Improved TVET Training in Suriname

New school buildings, improved access to technical vocational education and training (TVET) for girls; and higher quality service delivery are among the expected outcomes of the first project approved for funding to the Republic of Suriname by the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on Thursday, December 11.

Valued at USD21.94 mn  the project is part of Phase Two of a programme of enhancement commenced by the Government of Suriname in 2011, to ensure that all students at the lower secondary school level (LSS) participating in TVET have access to skills development, as well as additional pathways for advancement in the education system.

To support this, the loan will cover costs of constructing eight Practical Instruction Centres, and residential accommodation for seven teachers; as well as the provision of furniture, equipment and instructional resources. A portion of the loan will be used for consultancy services to prepare detailed designs and supervise the construction of these facilities.

The loan also provides for: the revision and development of curricula to facilitate Competency-Based Education and Training; enhancing of the services programme to expand options available to girls; development of second language acquisition strategies; and training for teachers in remote areas.

The Government is seeking to reorganise the LSS TVET system to provide additional years of schooling to some of its most vulnerable citizens and to bring that education to the communities in which they live. Approximately 47 per cent of the students transferring from primary school are placed in the general education track while around 48 per cent go to the TVET track.

In Suriname, TVET is a distinct track which runs parallel to a general education (academic) track. At age 12, students write a Primary School Exit Examination which determines whether they will follow the general education track, or whether they will be placed in a TVET track.

CAPTION: CDB President, Dr. Warren Smith (left) with Mr. Carlo Mike Ebecilio, Alternate Director for Suriname.