– hailed for outstanding service to the advancement of quality education
Education Minister Priya Manickchand was on Wednesday conferred with the title of Honorary Fellow of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in Calgary, Canada.
The title was conferred on Manickchand in recognition of her outstanding service to the advancement of quality education and social justice which has made a positive difference in the lives of her fellow Guyanese.
Her servant leadership, boldness in tackling difficult issues, and results-oriented, solutions-focused approach came in for high commendation and were noted to be of significant relevance and importance in the delivery of quality education generally and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The institution has credited the Minister’s trademark countrywide consultations for her success in achieving goals and milestones as it evidences her respect for diverse perspectives and her conviction that everyone counts.
Under Manickchand’s leadership, during COVID-19 Guyana saw a steadfast return to relative normalcy in the education sector; has seen the expansion of the country’s only teacher training college with the aim of 100 per cent of teachers being trained or in training by 2024; the expansion of the Guyana Learning Channel – a television channel dedicated to the delivery of education equitably; the establishment of a radio station dedicated to education; the provision of textbooks to all primary school children; expanded TVET offerings; the establishment of GROW, a second chance programme for those who did not attain secondary exit qualifications; new curricula and sensible practical responses to COVID-19 closures including the consolidating of relevant curricula; the preparation of curriculum-aligned, teacher-crafted worksheets for each topic from Grades 1 to 9 and a commitment to delivering universal secondary education.
It was Manickchand’s leadership that saw Guyana enter into a partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning and Coursera, which in less than 6 months had realised more than 43,305 certificates issued to 9473 Guyanese, making Guyana a leading country as it relates to registrants and graduates.
She also launched nationally, the ProFuturo programme, where teachers are trained in the usage of ICT, which became even more necessary during the pandemic.
More than 50 per cent of the country’s teachers have enrolled and begun the training.
“In all her roles, the Honourable Minister has given practical expression to her love of country, her spirit of service, and her alma mater Queen’s College motto Fideles Ubique Utiles (or Faithful and Useful Everywhere),” COL said.
The award of Honorary Fellowships was instituted by the Commonwealth of Learning in 1999. It is intended to honour carefully selected individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth and development of technology-mediated learning in their own country, and internationally, and to the advancement of education in the Commonwealth generally.
The award was conferred at the Tenth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF10) held in partnership with Athabasca University – Canada’s online university, from September 14 to 16 under the theme “Innovations for Educational Resilience”.