The National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) has been deploying resources and developing new strategies to improve Mathematics delivery throughout the country, and by doing so, bringing the curriculum alive.

The Mathematics Unit at NCERD is responsible for the development of the curriculum and other resources for the successful delivery of Mathematics to Guyanese learners from nursery to secondary level.

During the Education Spotlight programme on Wednesday, the Head of the Mathematics Unit at NCERD, Vishnu Panday underscored that this subject area played an integral part in the national education sector.
“NCERD has revised or re-engineered the curriculum for Mathematics. We have spent quite a number of years doing that. It took a journey from consultations to engagement with education stakeholders to the theoretical perspective of how we will be dealing with Math,” Panday stated.
The new curriculum was built to meet the needs of different learners in the school system and responds to the new digital age that is taking over the world. Hands-on activities in an experiential way are one of the prime focuses in the primary sector.
“With that change, we had to respond with this curriculum. Re-engineering our capacity and ability to construct learning experiences with a balance of assessment experience…The strands (number and operations, patterns and sequence, measurement, geometry and data handle) in the [primary] Mathematics curriculum have been tended to in a way that it brings inclusive learning strategies and assessment strategies to a balance,” he explained.
When the strands are knitted, they create an experience with space for learning outside of the classroom with culturally relevant elements to Guyana.
The NCERD Unit Head explained that students were not placed in a box and forced to learn elements of the curriculum in a structured manner. Now, the curriculum meets the needs of those who absorb information differently and works on ensuring children grasp the concepts being taught.
“We say inclusive because we want to make it as Guyanese as possible. We want to make it inclusive in that it caters for all types of learners. In Mathematics, we have to reach out to different types of learners. We have different attitudes to learning and children with different needs even though they have the potential. The skills lie in the teachers to meet those needs,” he further explained.
It was shared that in a majority of settings, Mathematics is frowned upon, and is often linked to a previous unpleasing experience. This can later create a mental block to the subject. This is being addressed by fostering an enabling environment for teachers to perform adequately and learners to be inspired by the subject.
“What inspires you to learn Math is much more than doing the mundane things or dreary attitude to Math…If you want to ask a question, sometimes there is a level of harshness that creates that climate. However, really and truly, it is a beautiful subject. Great teachers are the ones who stimulate and create that climate for such to happen. Teachers are the facilitators,” the NCERD official detailed.