Tomorrow, it is anticipated that all teachers and students will be fully back into the classrooms, all across Guyana, as the moulding of minds continues for another school year. The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) wishes all teachers and learners a successful year ahead and urges that in addition to routine academic work opportunities are taken to introduce the principles of Standardisation into the local school system.
The GNBS, like many other members of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), considers knowledge on the application and benefits of standards crucial to all levels and organisations in society. This includes all levels of schooling from nursery to tertiary. Our children of today are the employers and employees of tomorrow.
The world over, it is a known fact that many public and private enterprises are developing a preference for employees with at least the basic knowledge of Standardisation, as these entities are taking the necessary steps to implement standards to build stakeholder confidence and reap all the added benefits. However, finding employees who are already privy to Standardisation continues to be a challenge and resources have to be expended to offer on-the-job training on aspects of the discipline.
There is some consensus and the belief of many that the subject of standardization should be integrated in the national education curricula, as it is done in many developed and developing countries. Countries like Korea, Brazil and Argentina have successfully integrated standards in their curricula at the University level. Korea has done so from the nursery level.
At the international level, ISO continues to organize regional events aimed at supporting developing countries in defining programmes targeting universities; and at developing or strengthening courses on education about standardization in their countries.
In Guyana, the GNBS has been conducting lectures to secondary school teachers and students on the standards that are available, and how these are useful in enhancing industry competitiveness and ensuring consumer protection. In addition, in late 2016, the GNBS had successfully sought to introduce Standardisation at the primary school level through its Standards in Academia Initiative. This resulted in the development of a booklet, which was taught to pupils of a number of schools.
Later, an inter-school knowledge-based competition was held for schools in Regions 3, 4 and 6. The second phase of this initiative is expected to be rolled out later in this year and another competition will be held in the first quarter of 2019.
We must underscore the need to teach standards at all levels of schooling. At the nursery and the primary levels, children will become aware that standards exist for basic things they play with or use on a daily basis. For example, there are standards for toys, traffic lights, television, shoes, clothes, safety signs, etc. In addition, children will know what could happen if there are no standards.
Meanwhile, at the secondary and university levels, graduates will be familiar with the management system standards applicable for managing different types of businesses. They will immediately appreciate the benefits of implementing standards towards improving efficiency and consistency in offering quality products and services to customers when they are employed. Generally, as consumers, they will have a preference towards consuming better quality and standard-compliant products and services.
The GNBS will continue to engage the Ministry of Education and other academic institutions towards integrating standards in the education curricula and supporting the implementing process.
For further information, please contact the GNBS on telephone numbers: 219-0062, 219-0065 or 219-0069 or visit our website: www.gnbsgy.org
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