School in Guyana
Because Guyana was a British colony until 1966, the British school system already applied here. That was largely maintained even with the country’s independence. School is compulsory from the age of 5 years and 9 months and lasts until the age of 16.
The children start school when they are 6 years old. Primary school lasts six years. After 6th grade, students must take an exam to go to 7th grade. This exam is called NGSA, which is short for National Grade Six Assessment. The secondary school lasts five years and ends with the CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate). This corresponds to our secondary school leaving certificate. After a further two years, CAPE can be taken, it corresponds to the A-levels in Great Britain or our Abitur.
The school year starts in September and ends in July of the following year. So it’s like us. Grades, however, are given by letter, as in Great Britain. An A corresponds to 80 to 100 points, that would be a one for us. B is a two, C is a three, and D is a four. Failed with an E.
A school day consists of five lessons. The students wear school uniforms. Schools are particularly poorly equipped with technology such as computers or whiteboards.
Not all children go to school
85 percent of the children go to school. This means that 15 out of 100 children in a given year do not go to school. That is a high value. Often poverty is the cause. Going to school in Guyana does not cost anything, but parents still have to buy exercise books, books and a school uniform. In the sparsely populated areas of the hinterland, there is sometimes no school at all that is accessible. In addition, 18 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 14 have some kind of job. That, too, is a value that exceeds that of neighboring countries.
35 percent of the population in Guyana are considered poor. This is very much. Guyana is one of the poorest countries in Latin America according to iamhigher. The children in poor families often do not have enough to eat, no money for clothes or a doctor. They often live in slums, for example on the outskirts of Georgetown.
4 out of 100 children of a given year do not go to school. Often this is also caused by poverty. Schooling in Guyana is free, but parents still have to buy exercise books, books and a school uniform.
11 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 14 have some kind of job. That, too, is a value that exceeds that of neighboring countries. These children work as waiters, in markets, in sawmills, on fishing boats, in mining mines or as domestic servants. Others beg or sell goods on the street or at traffic lights. Girls are being forced into prostitution.
British, Indian – Guyanese?
Guyana is a country that one hears little about in Germany. It really stands out from the Central and South American countries. It’s not just that you speak English and not Spanish here. The entire culture is influenced by the British on the one hand, but by the predominantly Indian and African population on the other. In addition, Guiana is a Caribbean country and has a lot in common with the islands of the Caribbean.
If you were to go to Guyana, you would probably notice one thing right away: the cars drive on the left. This also has to do with the fact that Guyana was a British colony for more than 150 years. And in Great Britain there is also left-hand traffic.
The most expensive postage stamp in the world comes from Guyana
The “British Guiana 1 ¢ magenta” stamp is said to have been issued in 1856. In 1873, the 12-year-old student Vernon Vaughan from Demerara found it among his uncle’s letters. It has been sold again and again and last sold almost 7 million euros at an auction in 2014!
You can communicate well with English here, as almost all residents speak it. However, many speak a Creole language in everyday life, which is related to English, but sounds a little different. You can also hear Hindi here, which is still spoken by many Guyans with Indian ancestry. Not to forget the indigenous peoples. They make up only 9 percent of the population, but that is far more than in neighboring countries.
Popular sports are cricket and soccer – these, too, are a legacy of the British. In both sports each team has eleven players. In cricket, a thrower must throw the cricket ball to a batsman who in turn tries to hit the ball away. So he defends his wicket. These are three wooden sticks that are stuck in the ground and on which two small cross sticks lie loosely. They mustn’t be hit. He also has to run to the wicket on the other side because that adds up to one point. The thrower’s outfield players try to catch the ball that the batsman has knocked away.