Supporting The Public Sector of Guyana
Public spending on education was 3.6 per cent of GDP in 2011. There are nine years of compulsory education starting at the age of six. Primary school comprises six years and secondary five. Some 83 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2008). There are several private schools and private nurseries, including the Georgetown International Academy.
Tertiary institutions include the University of Guyana, which has law and medical schools, and several campuses; Cyril Potter College of Education; Guyana College of Agriculture; and the Commonwealth Youth Programme Caribbean Centre at Georgetown, which trains youth workers from Commonwealth countries in the region. The University of Guyana also provides adult education programmes. The female–male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 2.40:1 (2011).
Public spending on health was seven per cent of GDP in 2010. The Public Hospital at Georgetown is the national referral hospital and there are some 30 hospitals, backed by many health centres, throughout the country. Both public and private care is available, the former usually free. The private health sector is subject to regulations ensuring standards of care and practice. Infant mortality was 29 per 1,000 live births in 2011 (100 in 1960). In 2011, 1.1 per cent of people aged 15–49 were HIV positive – there is significant involvement of NGOs in service delivery related to HIV/AIDS.
Surface travel in the interior of the country is hindered by dense forest, rapids on the rivers and the generally undeveloped character of the interior. Consequently, apart from in the coastal belt and one inland route, most journeys are by air. Guyana Airways Corporation, once state owned, is now in private ownership. About seven per cent of the total road network of 7,970 km is paved. There is no passenger rail service, although mining companies have private goods lines.
There are some 1,600 km of navigable river, 1,000 km of which are in areas of some economic activity. Passenger and cargo vessels travel up the Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice rivers, and also along the coast between the rivers.
Georgetown is the main port, and the international airport is CBJ International Airport, at Timehri, 40 km from Georgetown; larger towns and many mining companies have airports or landing strips.
Public transport is provided by privately owned mini buses, operating in allocated zones.