Learning Channel continues to bridge education gap

-East Coast residents welcome initiative

For Ms. Ukline Fredericks, a mother of three school-aged children, the Guyana Learning Channel Trust has been filling a major gap in the education sector.

Ms. Fredericks vends at the Plaisance Market, East Coast Demerara (ECD), to provide for her two sons 14 and nine years old, and her 11-year-old daughter. She told DPI that when schools closed the expense of online learning was tremendous.

“My children don’t have a computer, them don’t have internet,” Ms. Fredericks explained.

Although her daughter has a smart phone, she said, internet connectivity issues made accessing the online content quite challenging.

The move by the Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand, to make education more accessible through the use of the television, has since provided much relief to the hardworking parent.

“As a mother, it’s very good because most of the time I does always tell them, to look at that station, so they can learn from it because it does show different programmes; they does learn to spell, know how to do Maths and so on,” she said.

Parent Mr. Linden Johnson also praised the initiative. He has a four-year-old whose programmes are aired in the mornings and a daughter who will soon be in Grade Four.

“During this pandemic, they are at home and they’re doing real great,” Mr. Johnson said.

“The Learning Channel does be on whole day and that helping them a lot. It’s excellent, not just for my kids but a lot of kids during the course of the day learning a lot from it and it helping them,” he added.

With a child in Grade Six, Mr. Donald Francis, said he was concerned about learning losses since the beginning of the pandemic.

“It’s not every child that’s [able] to have the Wi-Fi signal so some children may end up leaving behind,” he said, adding that online learning was one of the main routes of accessing education. However, airing programmes on the Learning Channel is making it easier he said. “When you look forward on it, it is a good programme […] to do things to get the children to be learning much more from home,” Mr. Francis said.

Ms. Joyann Charles, the grandmother of an eight-year-old child in private school agrees.

“The Learning Channel is very important to the kids to occupy them brains at home, instead of keeping them at home doing nothing,” she said.

Mr. Winston Jordan, the child’s grandfather also lauded the content being aired and encouraged them to keep up the good work.

Budget 2020 has set aside $300 Million for a multifaceted approach toward learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes print packages, radio, television and online learning, which are already being implemented.