Parent-Teacher townhall meetings a start to “first-class education” – Minister Henry
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, November 16, 2017
The first phase of Parent-Teacher townhall meetings began this afternoon in Linden with parents, teachers, and officials of the Ministry of Education engaging in critical discussions.
This new initiative, Minister of Education Nicolette Henry said is to “ensure that every child gets the best education, from the Ministry of Education, as well as the parents”. The programme will be rolled out across the country to allow both parents and teachers to voice their concerns. This, in turn, will provide the ministry with a first-hand assessment of the various challenges within the education sector.
Speaking at the Lichas Hall this afternoon the Education Minister explained that “Parents are very important stakeholders,” and as such they must be involved in the process. She added that the meetings are a forum where “they can share information as to what they need in terms of support, ensuring they have direct input.”
The minister also disclosed as part of her ministry’s ongoing reform, three new units have been established. These are the Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Unit; School Support Unit (who were represented at the town hall today); and the Public Relations and Communications Unit.
National Coordinator for Parent Teacher Association (PTAs) Nadia Hollingsworth encouraged parents and guardians to collaborate with the Ministry in the best interest of their children. Hollingsworth shared ten tips to make parenting less demanding, converse with your children; set high but realistic expectations; build your child’s self-esteem and confidence; maintain a healthy diet for your children; parents are the first teachers – support learning at home; communicate with your child’s school; encourage exploration and discovery; help your child develop good relations; keep your child safe; and participate in community service.
Some of the concerns highlighted by parents and teachers included the matter of extra lessons, the need for another 6th form school in the area; a Physical Education course for teachers; upholding professionalism in the education system; placement of special needs teachers at schools; transportation for students living in far-flung areas, drug abuse sessions, among others
The Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson said most of these concerns will be addressed in the 2018 National Budget. Giving an overview of the meeting, he said generally the townhall it was successful and looks forward to interacting with other parents across the country.
Also present at the meeting Chief Schools’ Welfare Officer, Ministry of Education, Gillian Vyphuis as well as representatives of the Child Protection Agency.
By: Zanneel Williams
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