Latest update March 23rd, 2023 12:59 AM
Mar 19, 2011 News
Canadian NGO slow to donate to ICT project–Education Minister
In the most recent development, the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec), Commonwealth of Learning (COL), and Microsoft, focused its attention on strengthening the implementation of its plans to develop the capacity of Guyana’s teachers to use technology more effectively in the classroom.
This was disclosed at the Ministry of Education Boardroom, on Brickdam, yesterday.
According to Minister of Education, Shaik Baksh, by the end of the planned period it is hoped that 50 per cent of the Primary School having computer laboratories, to date there are 60 Primary Schools with computer Laboratories.
He also noted that by year end all the secondary schools should have computers laboratories. Seventy of the 110 secondary schools have computers.
He added that US$1.4B was made available for the purchase of computers for laboratories, while a Non Governmental Organisation based in Canada has assisted with six of the Secondary Schools. However, he noted that they have been slow in moving the project forward.
Last year the national Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) trained 2,000 teachers in basic literacy, Baksh said that this year the plan is to train between 1500 and 2000 teachers.
This week, the Ministry hosted Anthony Ming of ComSec and an educational technology expert from South Africa, Neil Butcher, who are working closely with Marcia Thomas of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) and Yoganand Andarsingh of the Ministry.
According to the Ministry, Anthony Ming and Neil Butcher have been developing a six-month plan to strengthen Guyana’s strategies to build the capacity of its teachers in this critical area.
According to Anthony Ming of the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec), in the Commonwealth Secretariat, education is seen as key enablers to bridge the digital divide to create an ICT literate society than can improve the lives of many.
He said what is being done in Guyana can be seen as a stepping stone by which a similar programme could be implemented across the Caribbean since an agreement has been entered with Microsoft whereby the UNESCO framework can be used as the principle document.
Ming said that he would be working very closely with Microsoft to ensure that there is international certification attached to the actual programme being delivered in Guyana, which would add credibility to the initiative, while working closely with the World Bank.
He said that on March 28, he would be in Trinidad to sign an agreement with Microsoft through which the software company has agreed to provide students and teachers of the Primary and Secondary levels with the most current version of the software which will be less than US$5.
As a result of this work, the Ministry will between now and September this year be completing the following essential activities:
1) Undertaking development of a new set of training modules for teachers, designed to help teachers move beyond basic information literacy to ‘Knowledge Deepening’, so that they are empowered to harness technology more effectively in the classroom.
These new modules will be developed by NCERD, with specialist input and support from ComSec’s Educational Technology specialist and a wider International Advisory Committee appointed to provide ongoing advice to the Ministry regarding its ICT in Education Initiative. NCERD will also be collaborating with the Cyril Potter College of Education and the University of Guyana to integrate these modules, with suitable modification, into pre-service teacher training programmes, so that all new teachers coming into the system come equipped with all the skills they require for effective ICT integration.
2) Completing a thorough review of two key components of the ICT in Education Initiative, and the ongoing capacity-building programme for teachers and deployment of the Success Maker software in schools.
3) Completing a comprehensive audit of the current capacity of Guyana’s teachers to use ICT effectively. The audit, which is expected to be completed by June, has been designed in such a way that it can be repeated annually. This will enable the Ministry to monitor the ICT in Education Initiative and its educational impact on an ongoing basis, leading to better investments in this area.
4) Working with its partners globally to secure international accreditation for these training modules, so that the training we are offering our teachers is world class.
5) Implementing a robust, three-tiered governance model, to monitor progress and provide direction to the project team.
Last year, working with the partnership, the Education Ministry developed a roadmap to implement UNESCO’s Information and communication Technology (ICT) Competence Framework for Teachers, an internationally recognized framework that provides clear pathways for teachers to develop their ability to use computers effectively to support teaching and learning.
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