With schools being closed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a decision has finally been made to have teaching recommenced in a strategic manner through various forums from Monday.
The announcement was made today by Education Minister, Priya Manickchand who said this multi-faceted will ensure all students, irrespective of their locations or resources available, are able to continue learning.
According to the minister, this decision was taken following widespread consultations with stakeholders.
It was decided that a variety of methods was needed to address challenges of epidemiological patterns, internet access, and availability of resources through the usage of radio, the internet, the learning channel, and physical workpapers.
Toolkits are also being procured with added textbooks to distribute to students.
“On the Guyana Learning Channel for all the grades, there will be a scheduled timetable and that will be published. That scheduled reflects what would be taught ordinarily in the classroom if kids were to return now,” she noted.
Minister Manickchand recognized that these mediums will never be able to fully replace the face-to-face classroom but there is a need at present to prevent learning loss among children.
As it relates to the tertiary institutions, the University of Guyana and Cyril Potter College of Education will also use an online modality.
“What we’re trying to do is new, as you can imagine. It is never going to be able to replace face to face teaching and learning. But we can’t throw up our arms and do nothing. Too many of our children have gone disengaged from March to now…Studies have shown that learning loss which could result in high dropout rates and regressing and so on should be a concern to any education sector,” the Minister posited.
She added, “while we do not know what the outcomes will be, what we hope is that we can see learning loss minimized and sees any potential dropout figures rising be stabilized”.
The Ministry is currently assessing the environment of schools across the country, to look at sanitization stations, ventilation and other important aspects of reopening which need to be catered for during a pandemic.
Minister Manickchand noted that while the Ministry can aim to keep students safe in a classroom environment, transportation and other issues need to be ironed out.