All stakeholders should be commended for ensuring a smooth start to the new school year. With the exception of a few hiccups, most of the schools were opened on time. It was the first time in a long time that students were made to feel comfortable in their new environment. Where repairs are still ongoing, alternatives were provided so as to ensure no loss of teaching time. The Education department must find permanent solutions to such glitches.
Under the last administration, there was always the usual litany of complaints and problems with schools not being ready or teachers being absent at the beginning of the school year. Fortunately, this has not been the case this year. Educators, teachers and parents have worked together to ensure a good and positive start to the school year.
The task now, however, will be for them to employ the same or even a better formula to keep up this kind of excellent performance in future. The factors that led to the success were based on meaningful dialogue between all stakeholders and the Ministry of Education. Neither must become complacent. They must continue to address some of the serious issues. They must keep up the same levels of collaboration, communication and responsiveness throughout the year.
This must be done in the spirit of true alliance, in which everyone is duly respected and the voices of teachers, parents and students are allowed to be heard. It should not be a rarity that schools open without much hindrance.
The Ministry of Education must continue to conduct routine maintenance checks on schools during the term, so that repairs can be completed before the beginning of the new school year. The review that is based on the findings of the Commission of Inquiry of the Education system should include the fair distribution of education in all the regions. However, the real challenge the government faces is to leave politics out of the education system and to make sure that the regions do the same.
So far, the Ministry has done an admirable job in improving the education system in every region, but it cannot rest on its laurels. There can be no honeymoon period for the new minister. She must address the compelling issues currently facing the education system and make changes to the curriculum in the hope of achieving the highest standards in delivering quality educational services to the youths.
Among these should be a master plan for all the regions that clearly articulates the role of education in fulfilling the national development agenda; upgrading the school system to deliver a 21st century education; a new holistic curriculum aimed at improving the pass rate in mathematics and the other sciences; the prevention of the high rate of school dropouts in the country; and a thrust towards a more inclusive education system that embraces all of our diversity and provides opportunities for the excluded and marginalized.
In other words, changes must be made to the status quo to make sure that a decent and proper education is afforded to all students, not only the elites. And this is achievable.
Education is not a privilege, it is a human right and all students, regardless of their socio-economic status, should be afforded the opportunity to have an education so that they can realize their full potential in life. Parents and teachers must be engaged in the process and their concerns and contributions must be valued and allowed to factor in the curriculum. We must strive for even smoother beginnings at the start of each school year.
Jan 20, 2018By Sean Devers Half centuries from Sherfane Rutherford and Raymond Reifer and explosive knocks from Test batsman Shimron Hetymer and Anthony Bramble led Guyana Jaguars to 466-7 in reply to T&T...
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