– Education Ministry
With a new practical approach to teaching Science at the primary level, the Education Ministry is hoping to stimulate pupils’ curiosity in the world around them and to encourage critical and creative thinking.
This is according to Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), Marcel Hudson, at the recent launching of the Ministry’s Inquiry Base Science Education programme. This pilot programme is being rolled out in six schools.
The programme is as a result of declining interest in science subjects at the secondary level, which in turn leads to fewer students opting to study the pure sciences, such as Physics and Chemistry, at the university level.
It could result in necessary modifications before it is implemented in all schools across Guyana. The schools participating in this pilot phase are Arapaima Primary, CV Nunes Primary, Winfer Gardens Primary, St. Margaret’s Primary, Leonora Primary and Cornelia Ida Primary.
According to Hudson, who was delivering remarks on behalf of Education Minister, Priya Manickchand at the recent launching ceremony, the Ministry is seeking to engage Grades Five and Six students in active participation in Science in primary schools.
Hudson noted that primary Science should be fun while being learnt and that is exactly what the Ministry wants to achieve with this programme.
“We do not want our students to be bored. As such, pupils and teachers must be engaged at all times…It is the kind of training a child receives at this level that guides them to a career path… If we set the stage now, children will know where they need to go in relation to science in terms of choosing a career and that is why it is imperative that this kind of activity is done at the earliest opportunity,” he stressed.
It was noted that with this inquiry method of teaching Science, students could learn to solve problems, conduct experiments and be creative. He urged all schools involved in the pilot programme to take the exercise seriously.
“We don’t want a situation when students are in Secondary School, then they are attempting to grapple with the concept of science, because it becomes extremely difficult. So what we want to do is to make that transition and would be more effective in what they do,” he said.
According to Hudson, the education system and country needs more persons to engage in Chemistry, Physics and the other disciplines in Science. To fulfill these aims, people he said, need to pilot both factual knowledge and skills of scientific inquiry; identifying questions that can be addressed scientifically; planning and carrying out experiments; evaluating data and recognizing the limitations of their own work and the work of others.
He stated, “We recognize the fact that helping children engage in the world of science can be daunting. Many teachers and parents sometimes feel frustrated to find interesting ways to teach students about science and those who do not know the world of science may be confused as to how to help our young children learn about complex concepts using simple terms.”
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