Region Six students are poised to have their learning experience taken to new levels following the commissioning of smart classrooms at the New Amsterdam Secondary School and the Skeldon Line Path Secondary. These classrooms are equipped with items such as interactive boards, televisions that will allow teachers and students to connect and interact remotely. Motion and voice-activated cameras complete with a voice recognition feature are also installed to ensure effective communication between participants.

During the event yesterday, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, expressed her excitement to be commissioning the smart classrooms in the region. They are now the fifth and sixth smart classrooms being commissioned across 20210412 4
Despite the joyous occasion, the Education Minister said one must be cognisant of the difficult experiences being faced by Guyana and the world at large, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the pandemic has been a sobering experience while referencing the tremendous impact it has had on the education sector. Expounding in this regard, Manickchand said that COVID-19 forced schools to be closed and showed how important technology is to education delivery.
Even though the Ministry of Education has a strategic focus on installing smart classrooms, Minister Manickchand said that there is an equal thrust to increase the number of trained teachers in the education system.
“Even as we do the smart classrooms across the country and improve facilities to access online teaching, we need to ensure that we pay attention to the training of teachers,” the Education Minister remarked.
She said that the two go hand in hand. Towards this end, Minister Manickchand reported that from next Monday, the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) would begin online training of teachers. She said this approach has allowed the college to increase its enrolment from approximately 500 students last year to over 2,000 new students this 20210412 2
Furthermore, the Minister was keen to note that the education sector would have moved from having 32 percent trained teachers in the 90s to 70 percent over the last 15 years. Moving forward, Minister Manickchand said, “We commit to you that we will move to 100 percent trained teachers in the public education system during this term in office.”
Speaking to the benefits of the smart classrooms, Minister Manickchand said that it would allow the schools to teach lessons to students in any part of the country, including the hinterland. She said this would serve to reduce the disparity in education delivery between the hinterland and coastal schools.
“We are building a programme in the Ministry to ensure that the smart classrooms are not just in the schools, but are being used effectively for the benefit of the students, teachers and the wider community,” the Minister registered.
Minister Manickchand added that these activities to commission smart classrooms are bigger than having headlines in the news and on social media platforms. She said that these programmes would be analysed and measured to ensure they are being used effectively to produce the desired outcome.
During his remarks at the commissioning yesterday, Regional Chairman, Permaul Armogan, said that the use of technology for learning is an extremely important advancement in the education process. He said that research has shown that technology-assisted learning has become the better method of teaching.
Head teacher of the New Amsterdam Secondary School, Vanessa Jacobs, supported the Chairman’s comments as she pointed out that even though her school does not have a Physics teacher, it will now be able to benefit from the assistance of educators in that department which are based in Georgetown.
The Head teacher said too that she is pleased with the layout of the classroom and assured that they would be properly managed and taken care of.