Minister Henry engages Ituni residents
… donates computers to schools, books to community library
(February 22, 2019)- Today, Minister of Education Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry visited the logging community of Ituni in Region 10 and interfaced with residents to get an understanding of what are some of the issues affecting them and how the Government of Guyana can work with the community to alleviate such.
The Education Minister also handed over a computer each with the accompanying accessories to the Ituni Nursery School and the Howell Wilson Primary School. In addition to that Dr Henry donated a supply of books to the Community Library.
The meeting was held at the Howell Wilson Primary School and was attended by teachers, students, parents and residents of the community. From the outset, the residents expressed their satisfaction for the visit by the Education Minister.
When Dr Henry took the floor she said that it was important that she hears from persons not only on educational matters but on any issue that might be affecting them. Minister Henry assured that she will undertake to address these issues mentioned in an expeditious manner.
On education matters, resident Curth Murphy sought the Education Minister’s intervention for the establishment of a secondary top at the Primary School. Murphy said that he believes this will assist the community tangibly with a view of addressing the dropout rate in the community. Additionally, the head teacher of the Primary School, Ms Yvonne Nazier made representation for a school bus for the community. Ms Nazier explained that upon completion of primary education some children; because of the distance they have to travel to get to school outside of the community, normally stay with relatives or friends in the area closest to their schools.
The Head Teacher posited that this takes away from the bonding between the parents and the child and in addition to reduced monitoring of teenagers at an age where parental supervision is integral. Another matter that the residents sought to solicit the Minister of Education’s intervention is for the acquisition of additional trained teachers for the schools in the community.
In response, Minister Henry assured the residents that all their concerns will be addressed and said that she will have discussions with the technical officers to explore the possibility of having a technical and vocational facility in that community to train and upskill the youths of the community. Added to that she also assured that the request for the school bus will be addressed at the level of the central ministry and also at the regional level.
On the issue of trained teachers, the Education Minister told the gathering that this process takes time and that persons should be identified and be provided with the opportunity to benefit from this. Some residents raised concerns relating to logging in the community since this is their main source of income in the community. There was also a request for Information Communication Technology (ICT) training for community members.
It was at this juncture that Minister Henry amplified the importance of ICT in the delivery of education. She said that as a nation we can no longer embrace the talk and chalk method only, but be cognizant of modern methodology and thinking with regards to teaching in the 21st century and the education system should cater for this. Additionally, Minister Henry informed the residents that her Ministry is currently in the process of reforming the school curriculum, something that was not done for more than three decades. Notwithstanding the cost for such an undertaking, Dr Henry believes that this is necessary since the nation’s children cannot be taught from an outdated curriculum in this modern age.
Additionally, to loud applause Dr Henry told the gathering that very shortly, the MoE will be introducing robotics to all primary schools, making the country the only one in the Caribbean to do so. The Education Minister said that she will visit the community in the future to gauge if there are changes that were made.