Jul 08, 2013 News
– Education Minister tells Region 2 teachers
Education Minister Priya Manickchand and a team of officials on Saturday met with hundreds of Region Two teachers during which she highlighted that for Guyana’s children to be able to live enhanced lives, a sturdy partnership among the Government, Ministry of Education, teachers, parents, the students themselves and the community is required.
Accompanying the Minister were Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam, Permanent Secretary, Delma Nedd, ACEO- Primary – Marcel Hudson and Coordinator, School Board Secretariat Melcita Bovell. Regional Chairman, Parmanand Persaud and out-going Regional Education Officer, Leslyn Charles and other regional officers were also present.
In 2012 Region Two produced the top student for the CSEC examinations, Sarah Hack. Not only did the 16-year old top her country, she secured the top spot in the Caribbean as well. Ms. Hack attended the Abram Zuil Secondary School on the Essequibo Coast.
Over the last three years the Region’s CSEC performance has been improving consistently and this can be attributed to the fact that on the Essequibo Coast there are 78 percent trained teachers. There are 40 teachers attending the University of Guyana. With regards to the riverain teachers, they are seconded to the Essequibo Coast for upgrades prior to moving on to the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE).
“Guyana has been taking the lead in many areas…we help to contribute to saving the world by not cutting down our trees while at the same time we are putting food on our tables…we have a big contribution to make and the only place we could really make it is through the education system,” Minister Manickchand told the large gathering.
The Education Minister also spoke to the teachers about the distribution of the uniform vouchers, exercise and text books and school feeding programme (juice and biscuit). She acknowledged that while the government is making these investments, it is important that a good relationship be had between the Education Ministry and parents.
A teacher raising her concern at the meeting with Education Minister, Priya Manickchand
“A good parent does not have to have millions in the bank account…a good parent has to understand that they have to be supportive,” the Minister emphasised.
She also spoke about the policy regarding automatic promotion which will be revised with effect from September. Other issues included the new age for entrance into nursery school, hot-line numbers introduced to provide rapid response to concerns and by extension, provide a direct line of communication between the Ministry and the public, graduation fees and payments for test papers. With regards the graduation fees, schools are only entitled to charge a maximum of $3,000.
During the interaction with the teachers, Minister Manickchand introduced the gathering to their new Regional Education Officer – Baramdai Seepersaud. Saturday’s meeting was the last event the out-going REDO Leslyn Charles was attending in that capacity as she has been promoted to ACEO – Secondary.
“The message is that we are ideally poised to jumpstart this new era, to really move it to another level to the point where this Region can be ranked among the best in the country and I think that one of the good things about speaking in that context is that we begin to appreciate that everything that goes on in our classrooms, homes, planning sessions, meetings…that they are all integrated,” stated the Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam in his presentation.
Sam spoke of teachers who do not understand their value and purpose, and stressed that once teachers become au fait with that they should begin to act differently, to mould Guyana’s children for the future.
In this regard, he called on all the teachers to use the July/August holiday to reflect on their performance at their respective schools and set a plan of action.
Sam emphasised that teachers also need to value the assessments being done in their primary schools since they indicate the gaps and problematic areas for students. As a result, teachers would be better able to meet the students’ needs which would in turn result in better secondary students.
“We do not teach the curriculum…we teach children and so before we can begin to teach we need to know what we have in front of us,” he said.(GINA)
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