Education ministry devising new strategy to address learning loss

Discussions among the Guyana Learning Channel (GLC), EdYou FM, National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) are ongoing to create additional educational content to educate young children during the July/August holidays.

This venture serves to address the learning losses incurred by learners at every level due to the covid pandemic, according to Head of EdYou FM, Phillip Williams.

Head of EdYou FM, Phillip Williams

EdYou FM radio station forms part of the education ministry’s mission to provide the nation’s youths with equitable access to education, despite their geographical location.

Williams explained that the agency is “working on providing a kind of catch-up or a boost (programme) for the holiday season, and so the content that we’re going to show you is going to help to bring children up to speed.”

Williams noted that the special content will then better prepare the learners to tackle the curriculum being provided in the new term. At present, the agencies are working assiduously to outline the educational materials and time schedules to grasp the attention of their target group. This, he hopes can be finalised very soon.

NCERD, Acting Coordinator, Distance Learning and Information Unit, Ayanna Waddell said that for now, the radio station continues to air its scheduled programme.

“We have a timetable that we are using presently, and we will facilitate that (timetable) and add things to it (programme) that can capture because now they’re home and so we can expand those learning hours and we can facilitate that, and we plan to,” she added.

In May, Education Minister Priya Manickchand said that schools may need to remain open during the July/August break to focus on this matter. This disclosure was made after interacting with students and staff on the first day of a phased reopening of schools. However, after a few weeks of consultation with teachers, it was decided that schools would be closed in July and reopen in September as per normal.

The minister, however, promised that an organised approach will be taken to educate the nation’s youths. 

Since assuming office in August 2020, several measures were taken by the Education Ministry to ensure students have access to education during the pandemic. These included: the distribution of printed worksheets for every Grade, reform of the GLC to deliver educational content in a scheduled manner, and virtual engagements through zoom among other online platforms.

Additionally, the ministry also partnered with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to equip persons with necessary skills to become employable through online courses, on Coursera.

All measures undertaken by the government are aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs)- Goal 4 which focuses on inclusivity and equitable quality education, and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Only on June 15, whilst in Bartica, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali assured residents that his government is ensuring there is equal access to education, as well as health services.

“As students, I want you to have the best possible education. We are investing to ensure that all of our children must have access to quality education. And I promise you that we will make all the investments necessary to give you the best possible education, so you can have the best possible future,” President Ali said. This is part of the ‘One Guyana’ initiative of Dr. Ali, as he sets out the path for a united Guyana, where there is equal opportunity and access to government services for everyone, regardless of geography

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