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Suriname
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Ministerials Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit
Reports
Date:  4/11/2012 
As Suriname considers education the key to the country’s economic growth, an adequately functioning educational system is seen as an effective mechanism to reduce poverty and minimize differences in income.

In Suriname, compulsory education exists for children aged 7 - 12 years. New legislation is being prepared which, among others, will include the extension of the period of compulsory education to reach from 4 - 16 years of age.

In 2010, a review of the curricula was completed and implemented in 2011. A Policy Plan for children has been in place since 2002 and includes the Early Childhood Development (ECD) policy and programs.

Education in rural areas and the interior
Actions taken to support education in the interior:
1. In 2010, school buildings and houses for teachers have been renovated.
2. Support has been extended for the early childhood development program for the interior “Leri for Life”. In this regard, the National Early Childhood Development Commission (ECD) has established district Focal Points to ensure the implementation of the governmental ECD Policy Plan.
3. Training sessions for remedial teaching and agricultural education at the primary school level have been initiated (the KALBOBIS Project). The results of these programs are included in the Educational Implementation Plan for the Interior 2008- 2015.
4. The second phase of the Child Friendly School project, with support from UNICEF, commenced in 2008 and includes the Water and Sanitation Facilities Project.
5. An evaluation of the mother-tongue approach has been conducted. A comprehensive plan of action for education in the interior includes a special training program for teachers and computer training, while a distant learning program will be introduced in cooperation with the state owned telecommunication company, Telesur.

CHALLENGES IN EDUCATION
1. The entire educational system is due for a reform in order to provide every Surinamese individual with access to high quality, flexible and affordable education, to meet national and international challenges in the economic, social and cultural areas, and to contribute to the development of the nation.
2. Solving the complex problems of the Surinamese educational system will be a long-term process. The transformation of the curricula into a basic educational cycle, and reform of the teacher training system are part of a new educational development plan.
3. To deal with the lack of quality and low internal efficiency of basic education, the existing 2-year pre-primary, 6-year primary and 4-year junior secondary education levels will undergo a transformation. This implies reorganizing school infrastructure, upgrading administrative staff and teachers, phasing out the different junior secondary streams and training teachers in the revised curricula.
4. Suriname has a fairly good record of pupils who have finished primary school. However, reaching equality in gender remains a profound challenge.
5. A more aggressive and assertive approach to illiteracy is crucial and, specifically, requires more decentralized programs.

6. A National ICT Strategy in Education must be formulated, in order to use ICT as a tool to enhance the quality and access to education. Telesur, and the Anton the Kom University of Suriname are expected to play a major role in this effort.
Paragraphs: 36, 37 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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