School should be a place of fun, not agony – Education Minister

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, September 05, 2016

Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine said the current structure of schools’ curricula is a source of agony for many students, and should be restructured to add more fun.

“Children will want to go to school when school is more fun. School is no fun when they spend all their time doing exams and earning points,” Minister Roopnaraine told media operatives recently.

The minister pointed out that returning extra-curricular activities such as music and theatre to the curricula will encourage more students to attend and remain in school.

Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, Minister of Education

Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, Minister of Education

“What you need is to bring culture into the schools. I want to see active theatre groups into the schools, active music into the schools; these are the kinds of things I want to see because if you can create that kind of environment in the schools you’ll have children who wake up in the morning and want to go to school, school is not for agony, school is for pleasure,” the Education Minister reiterated.

Further, the Minister said while success in examinations is a necessary, the number of subjects passed is not essentially a sign of students receiving a proper education, since in many cases individuals are not exposed to rounded curricula.

“I don’t think we need machines to pass exams. I am happy they are passing exams. Don’t get me wrong, but the fact is I don’t believe the number of subjects you pass whether 20, 30 is necessarily a sign that you are in fact having a proper education,” Dr. Roopnaraine said.

The Minister said he intends to use his office to address the issues of streaming students, and the number of subjects they are encouraged to prepare for at the secondary school level. “I certainly will be looking at streaming in secondary schools… the whole issue of exams is one of the things I intend to look at,” Dr. Roopnaraine emphasised.

Meanwhile it is still within the plans of the Ministry of Education to continuously assess teachers and give (them) opportunities for continued upgrading by providing training sessions during the schools’ vacation periods, the Minister said.

When Dr. Roopnaraine was appointed Minister of Education, in 2015, he had told residents of Buxton that he intends to have teachers licenced and assessed periodically for relicencing, as is done in North America and other developed regions of the world.

 

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