The importance of Information Technology was emphasised yesterday when the Ministry of Education commissioned two new IT laboratories at the Eccles and Tucville Primary Schools.
While at the Eccles Primary, Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry, told the gathering of students and teachers that the computers within the laboratories will help with numeracy and literacy and to bridge the gap between access to education and learning material.
She said that the lab will serve to ensure that the nation’s children are digitally literate and assist them to conduct research. Moreover, Minister Henry noted that the equipment can be used by teachers as well to access resources that are available online. According to the Education Minister, the Government of Guyana is working towards making technology more available. She said that in addition to the two labs commissioned, 95 primary schools had benefited from IT labs in 2017. Minister Henry said that Information Technology must be provided in all schools and that plans are being made for additional schools to be equipped in 2019.
Further, she explained that the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Organisation of American States and the ProFutoro Foundation will be introducing digital classroom tools such as tablets, laptops and learning systems to 28 primary schools in regions one, four and 10 beginning later this year.
“This will allow for more personalised learning for pupils in ICT. Teachers will be able to track student progress and respond to the changing learning needs of each student.” While at Tucville Primary School, the Education Minister urged students to use their time within the new laboratory to research topics that they would not ordinarily be able to see. She said that though the commissioning ceremonies might be thought of as a simple gesture, they are a part of a long and important journey towards modernising and improving the education system in Guyana. Head of the Management Information Systems Unit within the Ministry of Education, Mr. Yoganand Indarsingh made the point that it is important for schools to be equipped with IT labs since technology today is pervasive. He said that IT is “much more than social media, and it allows opportunities to transform the way we learn, work, and has the power to inspire a richer life if we all can see that vision.” Indarsingh added that IT has unleashed a wide range of job opportunities, from art – where there are animation and digital creations – right up to science, where medicinal research is expanding.
He urged teachers to grasp that vision and translate it to students so that they can understand what benefits are possible.
Head Teacher of Eccles Primary School, Ms. Doreen Wright said that the new lab at her school will facilitate the education of pupils in the practical and theoretical application of technology.
She said that technology needs to be embraced to make learning engaging and interactive. “Our government and the Ministry of Education are aware of this need and have taken the necessary steps to ensure this need is met at the Eccles Primary School,” Wright noted.
Meanwhile, Head Teacher of the Tucville Primary School, Ms. Colleen McTeir said that the IT lab presents an amazing opportunity for learners to integrate technology in the classroom.
She said that the lab will encourage collaboration among pupils and develop problem-solving skills while providing teachers with an opportunity to be further exposed to non-traditional methods of teaching. She said, “technology is the way forward for the education system.”
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