Education Ministry pushing music revival in schools

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, August 22, 2016

The reintegration of music into schools as a timetabled subject is part of government’s plan of creating students who are not only academically inclined, but well rounded. The government has embarked on training primary school teachers from across the country through a music teachers’ development workshop.

A section of the teachers participating in the music teachers’ development workshop

A section of the teachers participating in the music teachers’ development workshop

The workshop which is in its second phase is currently benefitting over 170 teachers from 85 primary schools. It is set to conclude on August 26, 2016.

Music Development Officer, Andrew Tyndall at a recent press conference said that continuous training is important in music revival.  “We will continue to embark on training initiatives so that we could revive our young people with opportunities to explore their creative abilities,” Tyndall stated.

The programme is currently being piloted at the National Music School on Brickdam, Georgetown. According to Tyndall, plans are in place to have similar programmes launched across the country. “We are going to be doing a satellite programme in Region Six at the Port Mourant Secondary school from September, and we are trying to get into Linden.”

Ingrid Harris, teacher from Santa Rosa Primary School, Region One

Ingrid Harris, teacher from Santa Rosa Primary School, Region One

The Music Programme’s facilitator, Paul Cort said the programme targets in-service teachers. However, Cort said he is in discussions with the Ministry of Education to have a music specialist at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE).

Cort explained that, “teachers coming out will have what they need, and therefore, once this in -service programme would have covered all those who had not done music, then the programme would no longer be necessary.”

When the teachers head back to school, they will be monitored during their teaching sessions from time to time by co-facilitators. “They visit the schools and afterwards, they meet with the teachers and give feedback as to how well you did, you missed this or you need to do some more with this, acting like mentors to the teachers,” Cort stated.

However, the programme facilitator, indicated that this process has its challenges since the teachers are many and the co-facilitators, few.

Gem Fredericks, teacher from the Lake Mainstay Primary School, Region Two

Gem Fredericks, teacher from the Lake Mainstay Primary School, Region Two

Teacher from the Lake Mainstay Primary, Gem Fredericks said that the programme will help with the revival of music in schools. “We have been learning the major and minor, we have been learning national songs, so when I go back to my school, I would be doing music with them, teaching the children national songs, doing folk songs,” Fredericks explained.

Ingrid Harris, the only representative from Region One, attached to the Santa Rosa Primary School has her hands filled with the task of teaching music to a number of schools in Region One.

“I will be trying my best to impart what I have learnt here when I go back to my region, and help them to bring back music into the school because it is dying in our region, so I am happy to be here,” Harris explained.

The key objectives of the music sessions are to train and maintain a cadre of primary school teachers in music education, and resuscitate and support singing and music in primary schools.

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