Region Nine students welcome pre-loaded tablets from Education Minister

The Ministry of Education handed over pre-loaded electronic tablets to grades 10 and 11 students enrolled at three secondary schools in Region Nine (Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo).

The schools are Aishalton Secondary School, Sand Creek Secondary School and the Karasabai Primary Top. A total of 103 students, 91 students and 75 students received tablets respectively. The teachers at these schools were also given electronic tablets.

The Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand standing with Students of the Karasabai Primary Top who received their pre-loaded tablets

These tablets were donated to the Ministry of Education from various private sector entities such as KFC, S and K Construction/Consultancy Services, Demerara Bank Limited, Amazon Supply and the Ansa McAL Foundation.

The pre-loaded tablets contain several learning resources and material approved by the Ministry of Education to help these students better prepare for the upcoming 2021 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination.

This is Letecia Axwa of the Aishalton Secondary School receiving her tablet from the Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand. She was the first student to receive a pre-loaded tablet with resources that would assist her with her CSEC examinations.

The distribution of the tablets is a response to the needs of these students as they have been set back tremendously following the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teaching and learning have been greatly affected and many students in the hinterland regions have not been fortunate to benefit from online learning. Whether it’s because of lack of connectivity due to no present internet connection available in their community or the lack of devices. This is the primary reason why the Ministry of Education chose to have resources loaded onto the tablets so that whether internet is available or not, they have the necessary resources within their hands.

The Ministry of Education is currently working to provide enough bandwidth so that these schools in the Rupununi and South Pakaraima can have access to an internet connection.

Students of the Sand Creek Secondary School unboxing their tablets on Tuesday

However, this is not the only measure implemented to improve the delivery of education during this time for our hinterland students. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Education launched its Reinforcement Lessons for Hinterland Students.

The program entails expert teachers on the coast conducting virtual classes with students in 12 hinterland secondary schools to reinforce what they have learnt and will need to know as they prepare for this year’s examination.

The feedback from the student benefitting from this initiative has been great and informative. They have expressed their gratitude for the assistance and have asked that the program continues beyond their sitting of the 2021 CSEC examinations.

Some of the tablets that were distributed on Tuesday

One student, Joshua Alphonso from Wauna Primary Top said that the virtual lessons have allowed him to catch up with lessons that he missed due to the pandemic. He said that the virtual classes allow his classmates to share ideas with other schools and to learn from them.

Kelly Bisnauth from Mahdia Secondary School said that that the virtual classes are very informative. She has since improved in her report and short story writing. “Homework given at these classes keep us occupied since we know that we might be called upon to present. We get to meet new teachers and interact with students from other schools, this made me realize that other students are having similar problems as us,” she remarked.