– Port Mourant Secondary, Skeldon High School receive steelpans to enhance music programme
(January 9, 2020) – A commitment by the Ministry of Education to the Port Mourant Secondary School and the Skeldon High School was realised today when steelpans were officially handed over to the institutions in Region Six, East Berbice Corentyne.
Handing-over the items to the schools’ headteachers today was Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry. She said that the Decade of Development is starting on a good note in Region Six.
She said that education continues to be a priority for the Government of Guyana. According to Minister Henry, education must be done in a holistic way and this will be achieved as the Ministry is currently undergoing a curriculum reform process.
She said that what is currently being offered is being enlarged. Minister Henry said that the expressive arts of which music is apart are a large part of the reform process.
Moreover, she said that as Guyana undertakes a decade of development, education will be the cornerstone of the government’s focus. She said that students and teachers will be given a wide range of opportunities not only in mainstream activities but extra-curricular activities.
She congratulated the schools for being selected to receive the instruments. She thanked the teachers for the support given to the sector to ensure that every child in Guyana realises their full potential.
The administrator of the Unit of Allied Arts, Ms. Lorraine Barker-King during the handing-over exercises said that today was a significant day for the Ministry of Education. She said that the distribution of steelpans to schools is an ongoing activity.
According to Ms. Barker-King, 31 steel bands have been presented to primary and secondary schools across Guyana.
She added that the Ministry has observed that there has been a significant change in the behaviour of learners who took up the steelpan playing and have improved in all areas; creativity, discipline, academic performance and self-confidence.
While at the Port Mourant Secondary School, the headteacher, Mr. Mark Lyte, who is also the President of the Guyana Teachers Union, said that in 2017 his school officially introduced music as part of the curriculum. He said that the subject is currently being offered to the Grades seven and eight students.
According to Mr. Lyte, his school’s intention is to offer the subject at the CSEC level once given the right support. He thanked Minister Henry and Ms. Barker-King for ensuring the school received the steelpans and assured that they will be used to enable learning.
Headteacher of the Skeldon High School, Mr. Royden Harvey echoed similar sentiments of gratitude since the steelpans will be used for the learners at his school to benefit.
Also present at the handing-over ceremonies were the Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Kim Williams-Stephen, Regional Education Officer, Ms. Bhagmattie LaCruz and other officers within the Unit of Allied Arts.