Hands-on approach for education delivery

–Education Advisor says

Advisor to the Minister of Education, Ms. Africo Selman is working hard to ensure the education sector is functioning at full capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, DPI caught up with Ms. Selman during her second open day for the public at the Ministry of Education.

The public day started after numerous persons approached her about concerns after the release of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) results. Ms. Selman thought that it would be fitting to bring the service to all patrons who may have education-related issues.

“It was out of a need to serve the people. […] So, opposed to people coming and sometimes the guard may say ‘you have to get an appointment to see Ms. Selman’, you can walk off the street and just come in and raise your concerns,” Selman said.

She has also been working with the Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand, to see the crafting and execution of programmes and policies.

“We have been working with the Ministry to ensure that the children who cannot access online programmes have printed materials and so the Ministry has been distributing materials and even at the Ministerial level the Minister has been actively involved in looking at the notes and everything and I’ve been doing the same with her,” Ms. Selman stated.

“What we have is a hands-on approach, in that we know what is going out there,” she said, noting that much effort is being put in to ensure that the content is relevant to the respective grades.

The Advisor also related that has been playing a role in the television and online programmes for students, as part of the Ministry’s blended COVID-19 education delivery.

Looking ahead, Ms. Selman said she has a project in the pipeline to take the classroom into communities physically, using innovative techniques.

“You can use whiteboards or blackboards, and you can set them up at high points in the communities and put the notes on the board, and the children can come out and copy the notes at their leisure and pleasure,” she explained.

The Education Advisor added, “and I’m thinking that maybe we can go beyond that as a country. In addition to having the boards, we can probably set up a P.A. system. If you do that, then the children will be on their steps or under the bottom houses, with their books and their pencils […] taking notes.”

Selman stated that while the logistics of the project is still being worked out, she hopes they could start soon and is excited to see the benefits such a project could bring to students at this time.


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