The Ministry of Education is moving ahead with its work to improve the quality of education offered to students in the subject areas that fall under Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
A large part of improving the quality of education in these areas is to ensure that students across Guyana have access to science laboratories that are properly equipped and satisfy recognised best practices.
As such, Quality Assurance Officer within the Ministry of Education, Ms. Tiffany Roberts, visited two secondary schools in Georgetown to assess the current state of the science laboratories.
These schools were West Ruimveldt Secondary School and Brickdam Secondary School. According to Ms. Roberts, over the next six months, the initiative is to visit all of the secondary school laboratories in Georgetown and those in Regions one, two, five and six that were either constructed, reconstructed or refurbished between 2015 to present.
She said that the aim of the initiative is to assess the current situation of the laboratories and help to build the standard and quality where the students can get a quality education.
Further, she said that policies and procedures will be created to ensure that the laboratories are properly equipped so that students can better understand science and have better pass rates.
“Laboratory work is inquiry-oriented. So it’s not just chalk and talk. So we want to move away from that environment and provide the students with everything that they need to succeed at the secondary level,” Ms. Roberts explained.
The Quality Assurance Officer noted that following the assessment of the laboratories in Georgetown, Regions one, two, five and six, their status will be used as a template for the other facilities that have to be refurbished or reconstructed within the other education districts.
During each visit, Ms. Roberts will interface with the science teachers and the head teacher to understand what the needs of the school are as it relates to their laboratories, and to use a check-list to ascertain the status of each laboratory.
It was explained that following the assessment, the Ministry of Education will be aware of what is realistic and what will not work since every school will have different needs.
“So that is the reason for the field visits; identify those needs and to actually make a laboratory that is suitable for each school based on the subject taught,” Ms. Roberts remarked.
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