Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, M.P, on Monday laid out a host of plans her ministry has in place for the new year, which will benefit both teachers and students.

Among those plans is the full reopening of school for students of Grades Eight through Thirteen, when school resumes in January.

Minister Manickchand was speaking to journalists at the ministry’s end of year media brunch held at Cara Hotel Lodge, 20211220 16

“Going into 2022 we intend to vigorously get back to a level of normalcy that we have still not been able to do, so except we are otherwise advised by the ministry of health, all students from Grades Eight to Thirteen will be expected to go back to school fulltime,” the minister said.

She said while students should be COVID-19 vaccinated, there is still a very low percentage of the 12-17 age cohort that is immunised. The minister said these students will be given five months to take the jab.

She said schools cannot remain closed because of students who choose not to become vaccinated. This, she said, will be unfair to those who are inoculated and cannot access fulltime schooling.

“The students from Grades Eight to Thirteen have all been offered and have been given five months to get vaccinated…

If persons are not going to take the vaccine, then we cannot keep our children out of school, and it is unfair to the children who took the vaccine that they are unable to access the full schooling time and 20211220 19 So, we are going to have to make sure our children can have masks, sanitise and or wash their hands frequently and get the education they need at that level.”

Other initiatives on the cards by the ministry for the new year include the expansion of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) in Region One, Annandale in Region Four, Region Six and Region Nine.

Additionally, the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) will be expanding to accommodate the training of more teachers. This will meet the ministry’s goal of having 100 percent trained teachers across the country.

A new radio station will also be launched (99.9 FM) and will be dedicated to educational content. She said the Guyana Learning Channel will be expanded to six channels, dedicated to learning and will be accessible in every hinterland 20211220 17

“These channels will be expanded to every single Amerindian, hinterland and riverine community…It means we have to give solar, the television sets and satellite and we have procured enough for all of the Amerindian villages,” Minister Manickchand related.

Among other initiatives that will be undertaken is the revision of student’s textbooks and ensuring that every primary school child receives all the necessary books to enhance their learning.

Minister Manickchand related that literacy programmes will also be implemented for adults and school drop-outs. This initiative will see 150 persons being trained as literacy coaches.

Further, the reform curriculum for 2022 will include a mandate from His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, to incorporate “care for the environment” and “material and learning that takes us closer to his vision of one Guyana.”

A number of others programmes will also be implemented to better pass on knowledge to students amidst the pandemic and develop the education sector.