Region Four Parents urged to work with children as NGSA draws near

(March 7, 2019) – Before a gathering of over 450 parents and teachers, Senior Officials of the Ministry of Education hosted a forum at the Beterverwagting-Quamina Primary School to address issues related to education primarily at the Grade Six level.

Addressing the parents and teachers were the Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry, Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), Ms. Carol Benn and National Parent Teachers Association Coordinator, Ms. Nadia Hollingsworth.

The Education Minister congratulated the parents for showing the commitment to their child’s welfare by attending the forum. She said that such engagements will allow them to understand and know what is happening in the education sector and how they can benefit.

Minister Henry informed the attendees that currently, the Ministry is undergoing a Curriculum Reform process, something which has not been done since the 1970s.

Another highlight articulated was the Ministry’s procurement of its first Mobile Counselling Unit which will serve to provide psychosocial support to both children and teachers.

She said that the Ministry is positioning itself to deliver 21st Century quality education to the nation’s children. Further, Minister Henry advised the parents that the Ministry of Education alone cannot improve students’ performance.

She said that the input of parents is important and encouraged them to take their responsibility seriously.

As the nation’s children at the Grade Six level are preparing to write the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), this afternoon’s initiative was timely.

Speaking to the gathering, Ms. Benn told the parents that they must take away from the forum that they have to work with their children to see improved performance. She advised parents to ensure that children complete their homework, spend time studying and are given an appropriate diet.

She reminded the parents and teachers that the Government of Guyana has been plugging a lot of money into the education sector. As a result of such large investments, Ms. Benn said that it is expected that teachers too will work harder to ensure that there is improved academic performance.

Ms. Benn said that with the extent of work that is being done in the sector, it is expected that every child writing the NGSA scores over 50% of the marks in each subject area.

“We want to know that every boy and girl earns a place at a general secondary school,” Ms. Benn remarked.

Encouraging the parents to become more involved in the welfare of the school their child attends, was the National PTA Coordinator. She said that forums such as the one held today are designed to expose parents to strategies and techniques that can be used to enhance the performance of children.

Ms. Hollingsworth reminded the parents that their role is to ensure that children receive the best possible education. “This can be done by monitoring what is done at your child’s school,” she advised.

According to the PTA Coordinator, every parent is an automatic member of the school’s PTA by virtue of their child or children being enrolled in the school.

While recognising that for various reasons parents may not be able to allow their children to participate in every activity, efforts must be made to ensure some level of participation which is in the child’s best interest.

Following the presentation, parents were given the opportunity to express their concerns, recommendations and ask questions; all of which were addressed by the panel.

The 2019 NGSA will be written on April 17 and 18, 2019.


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