“The main objective is to ensure performance improvement of our children… we are eager to work with your Ministry to move Guyana forward”. This was the declaration of H.E First Lady Sandra Granger when she met with Hon. Nicolette Henry Minister of Education at the Minister’s Brickdam office on Monday.
The meeting was convened at the request of Ms. Henry to foster a collaboration with her ministry and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Guyana for the creation of apps to assist with teaching in schools.
All being equal, the apps are expected to be rolled out in schools by next year and will target children from grades one to six. Ms. Granger opined that it is imperative that our young population confirm to the norms of the evolving Information Communication Technology (ICT) era.
Further, the First Lady said if actions are not taken swiftly, youths in Guyana will always be playing ‘catch up’. According to Ms. Granger, the intention is to create apps for all subject areas taught in schools with the National Centre for Resource Development (NCERD) assisting with the necessary information to populate these apps.
She said that they (apps) will augment the teaching of the subject teachers and will allow for monitoring by parents. Additionally, it will ensure that the children have enough materials available to practice and at the same time test their skills.
The apps will be built by youths from STEM Guyana who have recently participated in what was deemed a successful outing at the Robotics Competition in Washington DC earlier this year.
Ms. Granger believes that the country should ride that recent wave of success and work to advance this agenda. The First Lady announced that due to the success of those students at that competition, persons have now offered scholarships for students to pursue studies in Computer Science and Technology.
Underscoring the importance of the apps, the first lady said that this will foster a pool of creative and critical thinkers among the younger generation that makes up a large part of our population.
The first lady expressed her satisfaction with the interface with Minister Henry and officials of NCERD and is confident that the objectives of the collaboration between the two entities will be realized.
Proffering her remarks at the interface, Minister Henry said that the work that is being done by STEM Guyana ‘dove tails’ nicely with the intentions of her ministry. Ms. Henry said that the time has come for education delivery in the school system to adopt a modern approach and the building of the apps will help in this regard.
Further, Ms. Henry said that the Ministry of Education must find ways of supplementing the work being done by STEM Guyana. She said that it is for this reason that her Ministry is tapping into the ‘treasure throve’ of that body.
The Minister further announced that a team of MOE officials including Senior Technical Adviser MOE Ms. Brigette Hinds and Dr. Marcia Thomas of NCERD will work in tandem with STEM Guyana official Ms. Karen Abrams to charter the way forward for the project.
Building on previous financial support Minister Henry announced that the MOE will be offering further tangible financial support to the team of youths to attend next year’s Robotic competition slated for Mexico. She said that this decision was taken since it is her belief that such funds will be ‘well spent’.