The Management Information Systems (MIS) Unit of the Ministry of Education, during 2017, will be tasked with implementing or upgrading Information Technology (IT) laboratories in 80 primary schools. It will as well, provide internet access or classroom interactivity resources to 100 more 20160914

Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine made this disclosure in his presentation during the budget 2017 debates yesterday.

The Minister spoke of the Ministry’s plans to use innovative technology for improving the education sector in service of national development.

The MIS is the central agency in the Ministry’s plans for Information Communication Technology (ICT) -based innovation in the education sector, and is tasked with building the infrastructure for the Education MIS programme.

Minister Roopnaraine said that among the general ‘deliverables’ of this unit are plans to create e-mail solutions for client agencies under the Ministry, expand the current infrastructure, and create programming assistance to address literacy, language and mathematics competence.

He said that the push to harness the tremendous power of information and communication technologies to improve education will also see continuation of the One Laptop Per Teacher (OLPT) initiative, under which a total of 9,500 laptops were delivered to teachers. Minister Roopnaraine said that the OLPT programme is reflective of the Ministry’s philosophy that “we need to equip our front line people in the education system, with the tools for navigating within an increasingly digital learning arena.” He said that at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), training will continue to be rolled-out in the newly established Smart Classrooms, as well as the new language laboratory. “We can expect both improved internet connection on campus and a new website which will feature content created by students,” the Minister said. He added that this is a core part of a commitment to “improve the competence and qualification of our teachers even as we establish high-level standards of teaching that we expect them to adhere to.”

The minister explained that at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), an area of particular focus in 2017 will be the Learning Resource Development Unit which has the mandate of “ensuring the application of new technologies into the teaching curriculum.”

At the University of Guyana, the Minister pointed out that he has already addressed the Microscience and Applied Science interventions. “In November of 2016, Ministry officials met with a senior World Intellectual Property representative with a view towards establishing a range of training and educational programmes in intellectual property as a basis for preparing Guyana for meaningful development of creative industry and knowledge-based economic diversification,” he said.

“…in addition to initiatives such as the programming stimulation push from the Ministry of Telecommunications, and the establishment of four new hinterland radio stations to aid language preservation in Amerindian communities, and the newly announced Youth Innovation Fund, what we have is a clear programme designed to move us beyond the rhetoric of innovative thinking towards the laying of the groundwork for the sustainable incorporation of innovation into national development,” the Minister said.

He added that he was proud to recognise that the Ministry of Education is providing the necessary leadership in that regard.