Guyana education at state schools is free and compulsory from age 5 years 7 months, through to age 16. After an optional pre-school period, children enter primary school where they attend for 6 years and write examinations every two. The objective is to impart basic numeracy and literacy skills and some knowledge of society and science.
Good marks at primary schools ensure positions at the better higher schools. Junior secondary schools act as bridges to either senior secondary school, or vocational training. At the end of this period, pupils may write examinations for their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate.
Senior secondary education aims at producing students competent enough to obtain either a caribbean secondary education certificate after grade 11, or a Caribbean advanced proficiency examination at the end of grade 12 with which they may apply to gain entrance to tertiary education.
The council for technical and vocational training and education is Guyana’s watchdog and policy maker. It establishes standards and monitors the performance of private colleges and schools that provide the service.
There are approximately 10 technical / vocational schools that operate at post-secondary level. Although the more prominent leading ones are state-funded, some private entities / associations contribute too.
The University of Guyana with campuses in Tain amd Demerara was established in 1963 to reduce costs associated with foreign education. While it does plug a gap in terms of commoner undergraduate qualifications, many students still must resort to distance learning, or education elsewhere.