Entry into secondary education was based on students'
performance in a placement examination, the Secondary School
Entrance Examination (SSEE) administered to eleven-year-old
students. For those students who scored poorly on the SSEE, a
continuation of primary education for three years was also
available in the so-called senior department of the primary
schools, which were also known as all-age schools. Students who
completed primary school or all-age school were eligible to
continue in secondary school.
There were three kinds of secondary schools to which students
who had taken the SSEE could be admitted: the general secondary
school, the multilateral school, and the community high school.
General secondary schools had a six-year program, with Forms I
through VI. (Form VI was the equivalent of the senior year of high
school in the United States.) At the end of the secondary program,
students could take the Secondary Schools Proficiency Examination
for entry into trade school, or examinations at the General
Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level or Caribbean
Examination Council examinations for university admission.
The multilateral schools, established in 1974, provided five
years of education for students ages ten through eighteen. After a
basic three-year course, students concentrated on science,
technology, agriculture, home economics, or commerce for their
final two years of study. The multilateral schools ended at the
Form-V level. The final examinations were for the Ordinary Levels
of the GCE.
A third type of secondary school was the community high school,
open to students over twelve years of age. During the first half of
the four-year program, students were taught basic academic skills
as well as prevocational subjects. In the final two years, they
concentrated on a vocational area, such as agriculture, arts and
crafts, industrial arts, or home economics. The program included
There were fifty-eight general secondary schools and thirty
multilateral and thirty community high schools in Guyana in 1983.
In 1981 there were 73,700 secondary students in Guyana, an
enrollment rate of 57 percent. The teacher-pupil ratio was one to
Data as of January 1992