Guyana's Minister of Education Priya Manickchand (GP)
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GEORGETOWN – The Guyana government on Friday announced that all students in the country will be engaged in a “blended multifaceted approach” to education as of Monday, as the country seeks to provide support to students since schools were closed in March as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand said that students from nursery to tertiary levels will be engaged in the initiative that will run indefinitely until the ministry receives clearance from the relevant authorities to move students back to the classrooms.
She said the approach will allow for teaching to take place online, on the Learning Channel, via the state radio and print material; and that an estimated GUY$300 million (One Guyana dollar=US$0.004 cents) was set aside in the emergency national budget for learning options.
“Many schools began to engage students on those platforms already and it has been extended to Google, Zoom, WhatsApp and Facebook and we have reports of fairly good attendance,” Manickchand said, adding that the Ministry of Education is serious about reducing learning loss across the country.
She said that the ministry developed curriculum content for delivery on the Learning Channel and print material to be disseminated to students.
“Already we have prepared at least one-month’s work in the form of worksheets… When we roll out that first month we will have people working to prepare the next month and so on,” she said, adding that nursery level students will receive home-based kits which will be delivered within six weeks, but until then, they will receive worksheets and workbooks to use at home.
Additionally, for two hours daily, there will be programming for nursery age children on the Learning Channel. Primary and Secondary level students will be exposed to learning in the four core subjects – Math, Social Studies, Science and English. Each nursery child will have four core textbooks to accompany teaching in these areas.
Manickchand said that over the weekend a timetable will be released for all teaching activities on the Learning Channel.
Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) students will be engaged online along with all courses being taught at the University of Guyana while special education needs students will be engaged online or through print material and worksheets.
The Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) will continue to deliver classes online or through print material.
“Teachers, parents, students this is not a normal time; we are in a pandemic… it is an abnormal time and it is an imperfect time and we have to work with what we have… this is how we can help them in this time,” Manickchand said. (CMC)