The Ministry of Education has piloted a retooled curriculum for Grade 1 and 2 learners for the new school year beginning in September.
The Ministry, in collaboration with the Guyana Education Sector Improvement project (GESIP), is currently conducting a series of consultation sessions across the country as part of the reformation of the national curriculum.
Quenita Waldron-Lewis Project Coordinator, GESIP cited the need to tailor the curriculum for the current global setting in order to adequately endow learners.
“We cannot in earnest be trying to train children for the 21st century if the curriculum that we are using is two decades old because then you are not equipping children with modern skills for the world that they’re going to be facing,” Waldron said.
This reformation will impact the standard of education taught in schools and is slated to benefit students from the Nursery level to Grade 9.
Waldron further explained that the ministry is tailoring the curricula to adopt a more student-centred learning approach and to cater to all types of learners.
“What we are endeavouring to do is ideally put the student at the centre of the learning. The education experience will come alive more for children because they are going to be thinking and learning through all of the different modalities through which children inherently think and learn,” she said.
The reformed curricula will facilitate the ministry’s push for the development of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Spirituality (STEAMS) in schools.
“This curriculum reform focuses on STEAMS is something you’re going to see as a cross-cutting theme throughout the curriculum. We are working with a more integrated approach to our curriculum.”
The Education Ministry recently announced that a new Grade Six timetable was piloted in several primary schools that allows for greater subject reinforcement for areas students are weak in. It also serves to introduce the learners to timetabling; a system usually used from Grade 7.
“Being able to predict what’s going to happen in your day, from a developmental standpoint is always useful for children. It reduces anxiety, and it improves their preparedness for what they are going to face,” she added.
Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry at the recent commissioning of the Kato Secondary School in Region Eight reminded that the ministry recognizes the challenges facing learners and is actively working to reduce the disparities that exist between the hinterland and coastland schools.
In this regard, and in keeping with the ministry’s mandate to deliver equitable educational opportunities to all, the reformed curricula will be made available to every school in Guyana.
The local education syllabus has not been reformed since 1976, and these steps taken are considered timely.