Education Minister pushing to have sports, music education back in school

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine continues to reiterate his stand on the need for schools to be involved in music and sports education.

The Education Minister on Monday spoke with students of Mon Repos Primary School on the East Coast Demerara about his plans to make sports, as well as music, an important part of the school’s curriculum.

Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine engaging some of the students of the Mon Repos Primary School on the East Coast Demerara

“Part of the reason I have come here today, is to talk about music, to talk about sports because at the Ministry of Education, we are responsible for sport, youth and culture, so we want to ensure that music is active in schools, that you have a place where you can actually sing and learn songs, and that you generally understand that your education is not just about books and homework, that it is  about playing sports and music, and all of those things,” Minister Roopnaraine told the students.

The minister explained that the push to get music and sports back in schools is to create an education system that caters for the holistic development of the child.

“We have children who do very well at examinations, but I want to tell you that I personally do not believe that examinations are the end of it. It is good to do well at examinations. I do not want to discourage anyone from that, but the fact of the matter is that education is more than passing subjects at examinations, it is about the whole person, and at your stage, you are a real input device, taking a lot of things in and we have to make sure that we lay the foundation, so you can build on it,” the minister said.

As government works to ensure that children have a solid foundation for their future development, the students were encouraged by the minister to embrace learning.

“Sometimes we leave it a little too late. If we start now and we make sure that we do everything that we are being asked to do and we pay attention in class and so on, when we leave school, then we are well prepared for the next stage,” the minister said.

He pointed out that education is a life-long journey. “You are right at the beginning, but this is something that is going to last you for the rest of your life, because you never stop learning. You are natural learning machines and you are starting now, so I want you to think that school is important,” he said.

In keeping with the minister’s thrust to incorporate a wider educational experience that balances expressive arts and sports with academic excellence, several initiatives have since been taken by the Ministry of Education.  These include the training of music and sport teachers and the supplying of equipment to schools.

Last year alone, 52 primary teachers were trained in the delivery of music, giving a total of over 135 music teachers in schools.

Further, an additional 1,000 pupils were introduced to the playing of the recorder across Regions 2, 3, 4, 6, and 10 and Georgetown, whilst a total of 80 students were for the first time introduced to playing the steel pan at three schools namely, Stewartville, Diamond and Bladen Hall Secondary Schools.

Meanwhile, a national sports policy is being devised, that will support the effort to have sports in the school curriculum.


By: Macalia Santos


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