Wapishana bilingual programme for launch in September

─ in observance of Indigenous Heritage Month

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Wapishana bilingual education programme is expected to be launched in the village of Aishalton, located in the South Rupununi District, Region Nine, on September 1.

The pilot programme will allow the indigenous children to be educated in both English and their native language, thereby preserving the Indigenous culture.

Indigenous Children of Guyana

Chairman of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), Nicholas Fredericks made this announcement during the recent launch of the calendar of events for Indigenous Heritage Month at the Umana Yana, Kingston.

Fredericks said that this programme is a historical one for the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana. “This is history in the making in Guyana and the entire world, where our country is one moving towards teaching Indigenous languages in the schools. This will also ensure our history is preserved.”

Several nursery rhymes and children stories, have been translated in both English and Wapishana and have been reviewed by the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD). Critical feedback has been given to ensure that the reading material is more effective for learning.

Aishalton is among several villages spanning Guyana’s hinterland regions, where English is not the first language. This has been creating a challenge in effectively educating the children.

The programme, which is being developed in stages, will educate the children from the nursery to the secondary levels, through a new curriculum that will be developed to include both languages.

Materials for Grade One level will be introduced in 2019-2020; at the Grade Two level, 2020-2021; and 2021-2022 will cover the Grade three level. Other material will be developed in the following years.

By: Synieka Thorne

Image: Tejpaul Bridgemohan

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