The effects of the novel coronavirus led to the closing of hundreds of schools across Guyana, leaving thousands of students and teachers to find new ways of learning. The Ministry of Education created an Alternative Plan Programme whereby, students were provided with home-based learning activities inclusive of electronic learning or e-learning.
Chief Education Officer (CEO), Ingrid Trotman yesterday stated that while the Ministry used e-learning for students, such as radio, television, social media and the Ministry’s website, consideration was also given for students who were unable to gain access, especially vulnerable communities such in the hinterland region.
“For the hinterland students the Ministry of Education provided booklets for Grades 2, 4 and 6 along with the past papers and these were distributed to the region, which further had it distributed to each school and then unto the students,” the CEO stated.
This was done as part of preparations for the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). Assistant Chief Education Officer (ACEO) for secondary schools, June-Ann Gonsalves further explained: “The teachers themselves prepared worksheets and they were sent to the different villages for those areas that we could not have gotten contact with”.
Gonsalves also said that she is satisfied with the level of preparedness for exams and the engagement of students in Hinterland regions, including Regions 1, 7, 8 and 9.
“I feel comfortable with the engagement that would have been involved and the collaboration across,” Gonsalves said.
“It wasn’t just the Ministry as in the Central [Ministry], but the individual regions, we had meetings with our REDOs [Regional Education Officers] and the regions did their part to ensure that the learners were engaged to assist in whatever was absolutely necessary.”
ACEO for Primary Education, Carol Benn is also satisfied with the work in primary schools in the hinterland and confirmed that past papers dating back to 2017, worksheets prepared by teachers and distributed to homes, as well as, parent-teacher engagements were held.
NGSA exams are slated for July 1 and 2, while CSEC exams will be held from July 13-August 4 and CAPE during the July 13-31 period.
The statements from the ministry would come as the Amerindian People’s Association (APA) raised concerns over the preparedness of the Hinterland’s students. Thousands of them, APA says, have no access to internet and curriculum. Many of them live in remote communities with little or no communications available.
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