Open Letter to Minister Priya Manickchand

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Dear Minister Manickhand,

I write to bring to your notice several issues affecting the delivery of education specifically in District Four. Since schools opened, several schools in my area have had no internet connection. This has affected the continued delivery of virtual classes. Before the opening of schools, some of us were able to adequately and frequently engage with our children and parents.

This is no longer possible. Contrary to the gazetted order, teachers are now required to stay in schools every day from 8:00 to 15hrs, although you had said at your press conference before the opening of schools that classes will be held on a rotational basis. What I understood from this, is that teachers are only expected to be at schools during the time they are scheduled to work face-to-face after which learning would continue online. This was a good idea as it would have helped teachers with young children who cannot get babysitters given the risks associated with transmission.

I propose that the Ministry adopts a mixed model; encompassing both virtual and face-to-face sessions. This is how it would work: have face-to-face sessions with the learners on specific days of the week and virtually follow up on whatever would have been taught. Minister, our country is not poor. We just need aggressive leadership. Recently, I read about some countries that have supplied gadgets with the internet to schoolchildren to enhance virtual classes during the lockdown. If other countries can do that, Guyana, with all the resources we have and a small population, we surely can. I propose that the Ministry of Education partner with telecom companies like GTT and Digicel to procure electronic devices and fit them with internet modems to facilitate virtual classes.

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Yours respectfully,
Name Provided



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