— as Science accomplishments gets attention
With a focus on leadership, the tradition of celebrating Education Month was officially launched by the Ministry of Education yesterday. The event, which was held at the Theatre Guild, Parade Street, Georgetown, saw the attendance of education stakeholders and was laced with inspiring cultural presentations.
Delivering an appropriate message at the occasion yesterday was Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, who will for the first time be at the helm of the Ministry during the month-long celebration. This is because the coalesced A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change assumed power following the May 11, 2015 regional and general elections.
Even as he considered that the celebration of Education Month, which is celebrated throughout this month and stretches into October, is one that has been occurring for a decade, Minister Roopnaraine, asserted that “this time provides for the accentuating of the importance of education and gives a boost to the system as it enters yet another cycle.”
He was at the time seeking to make the point that the commencement of the new school year coincides with regime change at the governmental level.
According to him, the new regime is poised to cater to the review of the education system and the charting of the way forward. “We have determined that the review and the way forward should be evidence based and holistic as a consequence.
Notwithstanding, the anecdotal and intuitive prodding, it (Government) has decided to undertake a number of initiatives that will inform and guide further actions,” said the Minister. Some of these initiatives, he disclosed, have already been undertaken while others are in a formative stage.
It is the Minister’s expectation that the outcome of the initiatives will be fed into the melting pot of the deliberations of the now established Cabinet-approved National Education Council, which will then make recommendations for the review of the sector’s strategic plan and the finalization of the draft Education Bill.
These two culminations that will be the embodiment for the way forward, declared an optimistic Dr. Roopnaraine yesterday. “The guiding principles in all of this is what works will be retained, what can be salvaged will be salvaged, what does not work and is unsalvageable will be discontinued. New initiatives will be undertaken,” stressed the Minister.
He made it clear, too, that the new initiatives will reflect the thinking of the new regime with regards to the education system while providing for its synergising and completeness.
And Government’s commitment to improving the education system is being emphasized by the theme chosen to observe education month – ‘quality educational leadership: improving schools from within’.
“The theme clearly points in a particular direction; it points to the need for effective leadership in the delivery of education and the improvement in the manpower content and the manner of delivery,” said Minister Roopnaraine.
Declaring yesterday’s launch as a special day for the education system was Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam. He labeled it a tactic to “reaffirm our commitment to this nation as a community of educators to ensure that we raise the standard of education in Guyana.”
And according to him, “we can hold our heads high that the educational output of this nation is on par with anywhere else in the world; we are working very hard in the Ministry of Education to ensure that our children progress.”
At yesterday’s launch, Science was a major focus with deserved recognition being given to the accomplishment of Abram Zuil Secondary which won the national and regional phases of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge.
With its Paddy Husk Particle Board project that won the championship title at the national level, the school represented Guyana earlier this year in Florida, United States of America. The Abram Zuil team comprised Athine Indar, Safeer Juma, Mark Doobay, Devindra Persaud and Biron Marks. They were joined by their teachers Jerome Rajpersaud (Deputy Head Teacher) and Bagwandae Suklall (Head of the Science Department).
Sagicor representative, Marlene Chin, who also addressed the forum yesterday, said that Guyana came out in the lead, ahead of eight territories including the USA. She outlined that the paddy husk project has market value and called on the private sector to look at its viability.
The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), Sagicor Life Inc. (Sagicor) and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) believe that, through greater community involvement, the citizens of the Caribbean can live more sustainably and build a better future.
Chin was also tasked yesterday with launching the 2015 leg of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge even as she emphasized the importance of embracing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges in communities.
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