The Education Ministry on Wednesday received a donation of 16 generators and a number of “English as a Second Language (ESL)” resources from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to aid migrant students and schools in the hinterland regions.
The generators will be distributed to selected schools across the hinterland, to ensure their electronic learning devices are powered continuously, thereby enhancing the teaching and learning experience.
Among the ESL resources received were ESL workbooks, dictionaries, board games, exercise books, art books, stationery supplies; and sport sets for cricket,volleyball and football.
UNHCR Head of Office, Henri Sylvain Yakara, and UNHCR Assistant Education Officer Danielle Dipoo handed over the items to the Education Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alfred King, who was accompanied by Deputy Chief Education Officer for Amerindian and Hinterland Education Development (AHED), Marti DeSouza, and Coordinator of the Risk Management and Migrant Support Section (RM&MSS) of the Ministry of Education, Rampattie Prashad-Bisnauth.
According to King, the Education Ministry is continuously making efforts to improve educational opportunities made available to migrant children and those living in hinterland and riverine communities at large. In addition to making Spanish a compulsory subject in the primary school curriculum, King noted, test questions presented during the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) are also now being translated into Spanish. Through this modification to cater to migrant students in schools, questions can be answered in either English or Spanish without penalisation.
Meanwhile, King added that work is also being done to expand the provision of secondary school education in the hinterland, as contracts have been signed for the construction of new schools at Hosororo and Kwebana, Region One (Barima-Waini) and Karasabai, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
This is in addition to the reconstruction of the Northwest Secondary School in Mabaruma, Region One.
These new facilities, King said, will deliver a higher quality of education to students. He added that the Ministry’s distance education tools – the Guyana Learning Channel and EdYouFm – will continue to expand, so that all of the hinterland regions can benefit from 100 per cent coverage.
In response, the UNHCR representatives expressed their commitment to continuing collaboration with the Ministry on its programmes to positively impact the education system.