Literacy, Robotics Programme launched at Den Amstel Primary School

In keeping with the Ministry of Education’s mandate to ensure that every child is a fluent reader by Grade Four, while advancing the use of technology, the Literacy and Robotics Programme was launched on Monday at Den Amstel Primary School, Region Three.

The programme was launched by the ministry’s National Literacy Department and the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand cutting the ceremonial ribbon

Den Amstel Primary School is the first school that will benefit from the programme.

The literacy programme provides intensive remedial intervention to fast-track the learner’s literacy skills, especially his or her ability to read.

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand handing over the robotics kit to the headteacher

The two-fold intervention which is aimed at accelerating the reader’s literacy level in the shortest possible time will be delivered through an in-school mechanism and an after-school reading club.

A literacy diagnostic assessment was conducted at the school which revealed that 45 out of the 67 learners enrolled at the school are reading below their age and grade level which represents 70 per cent of the school’s population.

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand during remarks at the launch of the literacy and robotics programme at Den Amstel Primary School

Delivering remarks at the launch, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand underscored that a strict literacy programme which includes phonics, sight words, reading, among others is necessary.

The robotics aspect will help the students to fix various robotics kits.

The minister underlined that the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many students to endure learning loss owing to the schools being closed for more than two years, exacerbated the situation.

Our estimation says that in six weeks all of these children could be at a significantly higher level. So, this is a programme we are starting here because we believe there is nothing more important that you can do than to produce readers from the school system,” the minister noted.

ACEO for Literacy, Samantha Williams

A documentary will be done by the Guyana Learning Channel which will help to track the students’ progress.

Additionally, every pupil at the school will receive the required textbooks. 

Meanwhile, ACEO for Literacy, Samantha Williams stated that the ministry hopes that with consistent, quality instructions, continuous tracking of performance, and prescriptive methodologies, the learners who start this intervention will begin to see improvements and closer to reading at their age levels within six weeks of the intervention.  

Assessments will be conducted weekly at the school to track the students’ progress.

Some of the students at Den Amstel Primary School

This programme forms part of government’s aim to ensure that every student has equitable access to education and the skills they need to become innovative and productive.

Regional Chairman, Ishan Ayube, Regional Executive Officer, Jagnarine Somwar, Head of the Curriculum Department at NCERD, Omwattie Ramdin, and other officials of the ministry were also in attendance. 

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