Nov 15, 2016 News
The One Laptop Per Teacher (OLPT) initiative introduced by Government in October has been attracting some debate as it relates to who are the eligible recipients. But the Ministry of Education yesterday sought to set the record straight.
In a statement disseminated to the media, the Ministry explained that Government, through the Ministry of Education, in recognizing the vast potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to empower Guyanese to meet developmental challenges and strengthen the economy, decided to embark on a mission to equip teachers with laptops through the eGovernance programme.
But the Ministry in its statement observed that “there has been some debate on who is eligible to receive these laptops, thus the Ministry of Education wishes to provide some clarity.”
It was made clear that those eligible are: teachers with a minimum of two and a half to three years of service remaining (before retirement); trained teachers (Assistant Master/Mistress); Senior Assistant Master/Mistress; Senior Master/Mistress; Heads of Departments; Deputy Head Masters/Mistresses; Head Masters/Mistresses; Untrained Graduates; Specialty Teachers; All Teachers in Regions One, Seven, Eight, and Nine; teachers living and working in Karamat, Biaboo, Pomeroon river, and Bara Cara, Orealla, areas considered hinterland e.g. Kwakwani and Demerara River and regional Education Officials and those attached to the National Centre for Educational Resource Development.
Thus far 5,367 have been distributed. A total of 150 laptops have been distributed to Santa Rosa in Region One, 650 in Region Two, 1,600 in Georgetown, 147 to the Cyril Potter College of Education, 600 to Region Five, 1,200 to Region Six, 300 to Region Seven, 250 to Region Eight and 470 to Region Nine.
“As the distribution continues some 300 laptops will be delivered to teachers in Region One; 1,000 in Region Three; 1,300 in Region Four and 500 in Region 10 in the following weeks,” the Ministry outlined in its statement.
It was also noted that the ICT Unit of the Ministry of Education, headed by Dr. Marcia Thomas, has ensured that teachers will utilize the laptops from the inception as each system is preloaded with Circulars, Curriculum Guides, Phonics Packages and the like.
Additionally, it was revealed that the Ministry has successfully trained 5,500 teachers in Basic Computer Literacy and 50 schools are running SuccessMaker successfully. SuccessMaker is a personalized Maths and Reading instruction that has been described as a “powerful independent intervention programme for children who are in danger of falling behind.”
Even as the statement highlighted that the number of students writing subjects have tripled in two years, it was noted that 180 Secondary School teachers, competent to deliver CSEC syllabuses, and 150 Primary schools, have been trained in the use of low cost technology.
Policymakers within the Education sector had recognized that in order for the government to achieve its objectives, emphasis had to be placed on teacher professional development in the areas of ICT in education even as efforts are focused on ways to contextualize and implement the process.
Moreover, the distribution of laptops and training is in keeping with Government’s plan to equip educators with the necessary skill-set for education delivery in the 21st Century.
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