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 students a successful year ahead as a combined effort is made to raise the intellect of every youth in the school system. The GNBS as the organisation, which promotes standards and quality in Guyana 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 students of today are the employers and employees of tomorrow and they must begin to understand how established requirements for processes, products and services help to ensure quality, consistency, repeatability, interoperability and reliability.
Simple examples of the benefits of standards can be shared with students including the fact that a quality pair of footwear last longer than one that is substandard. Standardisation in the electricity network makes the voltage the same in any part of the country, and standardisation makes phone chargers fit wherever. They must also be taught that the clearest demonstration of Standardisation being applied in schools is the school’s dress code, where uniforms worn within each school must meet requirements of colour, length, size and even cuts.
After school life, principles taught must be carried over by students into the work environment. 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.
Today, finding employees who are already privy to standardisation continue to be a challenge and resources have to be expended to offer on the job training on aspects of the discipline. Some nations including Korea, Brazil, Argentina are addressing this challenge by integrating Standardisation into their national education curricula at all levels.
In Guyana, the GNBS has been conducting lectures to secondary school teachers and students. These lectures usually focus on the standards, which are available and how they are useful in enhancing industry competitiveness and ensuring consumer protection. In addition, the GNBS had successfully sought to introduce standardisation at the primary school level through its Standards in Academia Initiative, which will continue.
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 into the learning 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
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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