…as Education Ministry hosts Brazilian official
Even as the Ministry of Education looks to improve its delivery of its Portuguese curriculum, efforts are continually being made to forge strategic collaborations.
In this regard, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand together with Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam, met with Professor Gioconda Martinez, Chancellor of the Federal University of Roraima State, Brazil, and her team, to discuss ways in which the Ministry and the University can work together to enhance the existing Portuguese curriculum.
This move was premised on the fact that the Ministry is conscious that it has a responsibility to make sure that it meets the present-day needs of Guyana. This therefore means efforts must be made to prepare young people to be adequately equipped to cope efficiently with Guyana’s growing connections.
Although it was initially introduced at five schools soon after its launch in 2013, the Portuguese Curriculum has since been included in 25 schools across Regions Three, Four, Five, Nine, 10 and in Georgetown.
At a ceremony to launch the subject area, Minister Manickchand had disclosed that the move to introduce Portuguese was a simple but rather significant one, particularly when consideration is given to Guyana’s Portuguese-speaking neighbour, Brazil.
Brazil, she stressed, is currently the sixth largest economy of the world and Guyana stands to forge even closer ties with this strategic move which will prove beneficial to the peoples of both nations.
She noted that in order to grow as a country and become incorporated in the Global Village, it is essential that Guyana offers foreign languages in a strategic way. As such she said that “even though we have had Spanish and French, we need to examine whether they are both still as relevant as they used to be…I am not sure that French is as useful anymore as Spanish,” the Minister noted.
According to her, “the Ministry of Education is at a great place right now. It’s at a place where much of the groundwork has been done; much of the fundamental work to get our students to become global citizens has been done…but there is still more to be done.”
She noted that while initially the move to introduce Portuguese did not find favour with some teachers, it certainly is an example of how “we are so capable right here in Guyana to do just about anything we want to do….We have the brains, we have the mentality and the resources.”
While the limited initial offering of the subject was due to the lack of trained teachers, moves to address this state of affairs have resulted in additional teachers being trained, thereby substantiating the remarks of the Minister.
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