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GEORGETOWN, Guyana – IDB Lab, the innovative laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is providing financial support to STEM Guyana Inc. to help 1000 children across 40 communities in all ten regions of Guyana.
This support includes technology tools and supplementary learning in Math, English, and Sciencez the IDB said in a press release on Tuesday.
IDB Lab is investing US$950,000 in the three-year program, ‘Guyana’s Learning Pods – Supporting Success in Education for Vulnerable Children.’ The STEM Guyana pilot will expand the education model, which caters to children ages seven to fifteen from low-income and vulnerable communities. In the pilot, small groups of children in communities across Guyana access a connected learning platform at a local community centre to foster ‘STEM’ skills, with the support of an in-person facilitator and an online teacher.
The IDB Lab support will create more ‘Learning Pod’ centres for public spaces for students from grades one through ten, to access content and technology tools, as well as in-person and online live teaching sessions, three times per week. The program will use the core public school curriculum for an expanded range of subjects.
Karen Abrams of STEM Guyana says, “the Learning pods program provides for small class in person and tech driven learning support for students who have been disadvantaged by the COVID pandemic school closures, and also ensures their safety as the program makes available cleaning supplies, masks, and temperature checks to all enrolled students.”
“Opportunities are increasing in Guyana and the demand for skills is rapidly changing,” says Guyana’s IDB Chief of Operations and acting Country Representative Lorena Solorzano Salazar. “There is need for us to adapt and learn innovative technologies and talents that can contribute to inclusive and sustainable development and guarantee the future wellbeing of our people, our country and the region.”
The ‘Learning Pod’ program is expected to contribute to better performance of all students and help reduce attrition from the school system.
It targets 50 per cent participation of girls. STEM Guyana expects a future expansion of the program to benefit as many as 5,000 vulnerable students over the life of the investment post COVID-19.
STEM Guyana is a nonprofit tech organization that partners with public and private sector agencies and uses software tools to help solve national and regional problems.
About IDB Lab
IDB Lab is the IDB Group’s innovation laboratory to promote development through the private sector by identifying, supporting, testing and piloting new solutions to development challenges and seeking to create opportunities for poor and vulnerable populations in the LAC region. To fulfill its role, it engages and inspires the private sector and works with the public sector when needed.