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…as gov’t seeks ways to continue delivery of education
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand said that the Ministry of Education (MoE) is currently preparing content in collaboration with various agencies, for nursery year one (1), through to secondary grade eleven (11), that will be aired on the Learning Channel (Channel 80).
This was decided at a meeting on Tuesday, with the said minister, the Director of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), Jennifer Cumberbatch and other members of staff; and Coordinator of the Distance Education Information Unit, Pauline Stanford, at NCERD’s Battery Road, Kingston location.
The objective of that meeting was to discuss how the learning channel can be used and the role it will play in the delivery of education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Manickchand noted that when the learning channel was launched by former President and current Vice-President, Bharrat Jagdeo, it was for a reason. The reason alluded to, was to facilitate education delivery differently. Further, the Education Minister said that with the COVID-19 pandemic, the vision of Jagdeo is “very, very relevant at this time.” She noted that the MoE is looking to prepare programmes on a daily basis for the respective levels.
Meanwhile, Manickchand also as part of a holistic plan for the reopening of schools met with the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) to hear the union’s views about the impact of COVID 19 on the education sector and teachers in particular. Prior to that meeting, the minister made it clear that be it virtual, on platforms like Zoom or google classroom, via the Learning channel or a physical opening the most important issue to address presently is keeping teachers, children and their families safe as well as keeping children engaged academically.
According to the release September is usually the beginning of a new academic year, however, GTU expressed the view that schools were unprepared at present to accommodate a physical re-opening that would allow for the safety of all involved. A final decision has not been made relative to the physical reopening of schools. The MoE continues to engage stakeholders on the issue and commits to making an announcement soonest. Present at the meeting were, the President of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) Mr Mark Lyte, Chief Planning Officer (CPO) Ms Nicola Johnson, Director NERD Ms Jennifer Cumberbatch, Human Resources Manager- MoE Ms Jacqueline Simon, Patrick Onwuzirike Assistant Chief Education Officer (ACEO)- Technical, Ms Samantha Williams ACEO- Nursery, Ms Carol Benn ACEO- Primary, June-Ann Gonsalves ACEO-Secondary, GTU General Secretary Coretta Mc Donald, First Vice President-GTU Lesmeine Collins and GTU Treasurer Sumanta Alleyne.