Ministry of Education, Guyana

Friday, 23 January 2015 12:08

School welfare programme to be strengthened – Manickchand

Amid increasing violence at public schools, Education Minister Priya Manickchand said the Ministry would strengthen its welfare programme in schools across the country.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Manickchand said more welfare officers would be trained by high-level officials from across the Caribbean, noting that a team of 13 supporting masters are currently in the country undergoing training.
Manickchand noted that since the initiative was the first of its kind, they may not be able to pull off everything on time and as expected, but would work towards perfection when addressing welfare matters within the schools.
“Again, we will not be able to provide all the services and respond to all the welfare cases as expected. We have to find other ways of having the country band together to address the issues of inter-personal violence, of stranger violence, of resolving issues violently, so we really need everybody on board, the Church, the Mandir, the Mosque, the NGOs, the schools and even the parents in the home,” Manickchand said.
In addition, the Minister noted that of the 13 persons lending their assistance to train the welfare officers, eight were attached to the Education Ministry while the other five were placed to work within the Social Services Ministry. She underscored that the trainers had specific training on young people so local officers would be empowered to deal with issues affecting youths.
No plans to improve security in schools
When asked about measures to be put in place to strengthen the security system within the schools, Manickchand said there were no plans to do so. “You know it will be very hard to provide security personnel to all of our thousands of schools in Guyana. It will be extremely expensive and so we will have to make some hard choices about perhaps which schools will need it most, but no, there are no great plans to increase the amount of security personnel in the schools across the country on a nationwide scale,” the Minister noted.
Literacy remains top of agenda
The Minister also pointed out that although the Ministry had many important issues to deal with to boost the education sector, literacy remained on the top of the agenda.
“Literacy is an unfolding issue that we are addressing; part of it was to make sure that our children have all the resources like text books and work books and so on. We have started implementing the plans that we have rolled out, in fact one of the major developments is that parents will now be able to go into schools and get updated reports about their child’s performance, especially in literacy as this remains on the top of our agenda,” she added.
Moreover, Manickchand added that this new system would help children to learn faster and also keep parents up-to-date with their child’s performance and reading quality.

Source: Guyana Times

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