The Ministry of Education and the Private Sector Commission (PSC) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance the collaboration between the two entities, particularly for the PSC to recognize the micro-credentials of Guyanese that successfully complete the online courses offered by the Commonwealth of Learning and Coursera.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand explained that following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic which lead to many persons being forced out of employment, the Commonwealth of Learning and Coursera came together and decided that they were going to craft a Workforce Recovery Programme.
She said that the programme allows persons across the Commonwealth to increase their skills capacity, to re-skill or to enhance what they already have. According to Minister Manickchand, Guyana, as a member of the Commonwealth received invitations in March and June 2020 to join the program, but those offers were not utilized.
However, the Education Minister said that on her entry into office, there was another invitation that was issued and decided that Guyana will take up the offer since there are persons that need to enhance their qualifications or to re-skill completely.
Minister Manickchand explained that through the partnership with the Ministry of Education, 4000 free courses are being offered on the Coursera platform in various fields such as social sciences, engineering, business and computer studies from reputable or Ivy League Universities.
She said with just over two weeks of having launched the program in Guyana, more than 35, 000 have registered to complete courses with over 17, 500 persons on the platform working to complete their courses. Further, thus far 970 persons have graduated from the Coursera program.
Minister of the Public Service, Sonia Parag said that her Ministry welcomes the initiative as it is an opportunity for persons to gain knowledge from Universities that are recognized abroad.
It was explained by the Public Service Minister that the program is timely since the Ministry wants its public servants to be qualified at a level that is performance and results-oriented.
Further, Minister Parag announced that the Public Service Ministry will be recognizing the certificates from the various courses in the many fields of study as a qualification within the particular job description.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer said that it is a pleasure for the PSC to work with the Ministry of Education to sign the MoU. He said that the actions behind the MoU represents people who want to empower themselves.
He said that the PSC is happy to promote the initiative and to empower the Guyanese workforce.
Deygoo-Boyer signed the MoU on behalf of the PSC and the Permanent Secretary, Alfred King signed on behalf of the Ministry of Education. Also present at the signing ceremony was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Public Service, Ms. Soyinka Grogan and Education Specialist within the Ministry of Education, Mr. Olato Sam.
The deadline for registration to access these free courses is October 31, 2020. Interested persons can register on the Ministry’s website at: www.education.gov.gy/upskill.