Some teachers not engaging students
-urged to step up
Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand is urging teachers to fulfil their responsibilities to educate their students amid COVID-19, and to engage the Ministry on challenges they may be experiencing.
The Minister made this statement on the side-lines of an event on Tuesday, following reports that some teachers have not been engaging their students.
While she acknowledged that most teachers have continued to serve admirably during the pandemic, the neglect by others is hampering their students’ development.
Minister Manickchand said the Ministry does not intend to penalise teachers who may be experiencing challenges, but to engage them to identify and address them. At the same time, some teachers are using the pandemic to shirk their responsibilities.
“In this very challenging circumstance, our teachers have not been trained to do this, but they have been doing it without training, and they’ve been throwing themselves into it and that’s the majority of what we have been seeing…. The problem with judging value based on a majority is very dangerous because if it’s one child that [doesn’t get] all the attention we want them to have, it’s one too many,” she said.
The Minister also expressed hope that Guyana would soon overcome some of the hurdles the pandemic has brought with the introduction of the vaccination campaign.
“The reopening of schools would be solely dependent on the advice we get from the Ministry of Health, who would have to tell us whether we can, and if we can add, what numbers. That would mean grades, how many students can go back into the schools, and how often at this stage.”
As for now, Minister Manickchand said schools will remain closed until the Health Ministry advises otherwise.
Schools were closed in March 2020 after the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 case. However, it was partially opened for Grades Ten, Eleven and Twelve students in November 2020. The objective of the reopening was to allow senior students to prepare for the 2021 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).
During this time, the Ministry continued to delivery education through the Guyana Learning Channel, Zoom and other virtual platforms and through the production of printed worksheets which have been disseminated to students across the country.