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Sunday, 23 July 2017 13:01

 Guyana gets 25 newly appointed District Education Officers

 Guyana gets 25 newly appointed District Education Officers
Strive for excellence and nothing less, no room or place for mediocrity
– Minister Henry Tells newly appointed DEOs
After eighteen (18) months of orientation, Guyana now has Twenty five (25) new district education officers (DEO) representing the eleven (11) education districts. The lot which was officially appointed to work on the progress and development of the National Education programme on Monday commenced a two day induction workshop at the National Center for Education Resource Development (NCERD) under the theme “Education Officers – Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Excellence.”
 This is the largest batch of DEOs to be appointed in ten (10) years according to Donna Chapman Coordinator and Deputy Chief Education Officer with responsibility for 20170723 6

Hon. Minister Nicolette Henry in hailing the elevation of the DEOs to the very important office encouraged them to see the induction as more than just a promotion but as an opportunity to make an impact in the delivery of quality education across Guyana.
Noting the many challenges often faced in the education system Minister Henry advised that the DEOs that they understand that they are being sent to several Education Districts to make a difference. “You have been chosen because we believe that you can make a meaningful contribution.” They were assured that they will get all the support needed, “but whether you succeed or not depends on what you do and how.”
Operating in a highly competitive and rapidly changing world Minister Henry admonished the DEOs to remember to provide quality products and services that delight customers as a crucial measure for ensuring long-term organisational success.
In this regard, creating and sustaining a culture of excellence, which is quality culture, is a prerequisite for ensuring a continuous flow of quality products and services and the Ministry of Education is no less an agency that must aspire to a culture of excellence. news 20170723 7
However, the minister pointed out that the ultimate creators of quality service are people, not technology or formal quality procedures. “Quality begins and ends with the individual; quality people do quality work. It is people who manage processes and make the systems work; processes don’t do work, people do. It is people who make poor systems work and good systems fail. In other words, quality is the expression of human excellence.” 
The Ministry of Education must be known for its Culture of Excellence which is important for reasons, such as increasing the workers’ commitment and loyalty because of their sense of pride and emotional attachment to certain core values.
Another factor that the minister underscored was the Culture of Excellence which in the context of the Ministry provides meaning and purpose to work.
Importantly Minister Henry noted that there can be no Creation and Sustenance of a Culture of Excellence within the Ministry unless there is a change in the workers’ mindset.
“I, therefore, urge all and sundry that we all work towards “Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Excellence within this Ministry. When this happens we will provide quality service to the nation’s children,”
Noting the need for the collective approach that can make a difference Minister Henry encouraged the DEOs to collectively “work towards ensuring a successful future for every child.”  
The newly appointed District Education Officers were reminded to be ever cognizant of their important role in planning and managing education in their respective 20170723 8
They were charged to strive for excellence and nothing less as there is no room or place for mediocrity. Set high standards, first of all for yourselves, and accept no less from those over whom you have jurisdiction.
“One of your first tasks is to be knowledgeable about your work. I charge you to read up about what your roles and responsibilities are. A superficial knowledge will not do. When you are knowledgeable you will be able to execute your duties with confidence. You will know what to do, what to look for and what to expect of your subordinates. No one will be able to “make rings around you” or “take you for a ride,” Minister Henry said.
Further, the newly appointed DEOs were encouraged to be passionate about their work and must like what they do. “Those with whom you work must see your enthusiasm and that you love what you are doing. The more passionate you are about your job, the more successful and happier you will be.”
Another charge was that of being diligent in performing their duties. “Due diligence causes you to achieve your goals, and also makes a favourable impression on others. Diligence will be one of your keys to success.”
Consistency was also among the Minister’s charges as she advised the DEOs  not to be quick to change their stance because of circumstance, while avoiding double standards and they were also advised against working according to moods.
“Your colleagues and those under your charge must see you as someone who sticks to principle and does not change a decision made in order to be popular. Be a good listener.   It helps to understand the viewpoint of the other party. It shows maturity and respect and that you are interested in what the other party is saying. It also helps to resolve issues. Many problems can be solved by listening to the viewpoint of others.”
As District Education Officers they were advised to be approachable as much of their success rests on the shoulders of their colleagues- the Headmasters, the Deputies, the teachers, the parents, stakeholders and even the children. “They must see you as someone to whom they can readily approach; as someone who is willing to listen to their concerns. Never display an air of arrogance. People must feel comfortable around you; when they do, you will get their full cooperation,” Minister Henry advised. 
District Education Officers, were further charged to be professional in all that they do and to make it a priority to be on time ; not to  arrive late for meetings or appointments, etc. which  sets a bad example for colleagues and subordinates.
The officers were also reminded of their need to dress appropriately as their appearance should always be neat and clean and not be the first to jump into a style or the last to come out of it.
“Watch your mouth. Swearing, cursing, screaming or slamming doors have no place within your working environment, or anywhere, as a matter of fact,” Minister Henry made clear.
Also among the charges, the DEOs were advised to offer assistance to colleagues directly or even indirectly as a true professional is willing to help his/her colleagues, subordinates when they are overburdened or facing a challenge at work.
“Don’t be hesitant to share your knowledge and your opinions. Be honest. Dishonesty makes you look bad. Honesty instils trust among your superiors, co-workers and your subordinates. When you are honest you are valued as someone trustworthy.”
In their course of executing their duties they were advised to be pleasant and polite to all – Headmasters/mistresses, their Deputies, teachers and parents, even if they do not like you…be firm. When you are assertive people tend to have a lot of respect for you. The HMs, Deputies, teachers and children  will respect you because you are an individual who will not allow yourself to be pushed around. Assertion gives you a voice without compromising yourself. You must hold your position both firmly and kindly.”  Kindness does not mean caving in or giving those with whom you work their way all the time.
As District Education Officers, you must be fair. Establishing different sets of rules for different staff members, parents or children is the antithesis of fairness and creates ill-will, poor morale and less optimal performance across the team. Treating people with respect and dealing with everyone in a fair and open manner is essential for your success.
Schedule maintenance, Five-year plan and District Budget
Minister Nicholette in her wisdom while drawing on her experiences charged the DEOs to maintain a schedule of activities and a calendar so that they have a ready reference point to implement and monitor progress.
"Ensure that reports are submitted before the deadline. In case you have any problem in submitting them on time, inform well in advance and why. Ensure that the policies and provisions laid down in the Education Act are adhered to by the HMs, Deputies and teachers in every school in your district." news 20170723 5
Further, they were charged  to familiarise themselves with the 5-year plan and annual district budget. Paramount to being a success Minister Henry motivated the DEOs to look at the progress already made, and what remains to be done, noting the lessons learned.
"Do not be afraid to call for help or seek assistance if you are not too sure about something... as we officially and formally release you to your different districts, you need to be aware that you will encounter a lot of challenges and you must have the WILL TO SUCCEED."
An education system can only be as great as the teachers who are committed to its calling, and who are an inspiration to our children.  You are to give the necessary guidance and monitor the performance of the teachers within your districts. With the enthusiasm, passion and commitment of our teachers, and with your leadership, we are confident that every child will be provided with a holistic, engaging and enriching educational experience in our schools. 
Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson addressing the opening of the workshop and orientation activity.  Quoted Hans Enzensberger who espoused that “every orientation pre-supposes a disorientation”. He said the idea assumes that “as we attempt to effectively fit into our new roles, there may be issues of uncertainties, directions, and perceptions that may need clarity.”
Noting this, CEO Hutson posited that it is therefore important that nothing be left to chance as we seek to strengthen our education system with respect to the mission statement of education: “To provide an education system that delivers quality education and training at all levels and particularly to eliminate illiteracy, modernize education and strengthen tolerance”. This, Hutson said, is important as it is intended to help lay a foundation so that the mission of education will be effectively assimilated by the officers while strategically positioning them to make the achievement of the mission a reality.
He encouraged the DEOs to remember and become familiar with the rules of the Ministry regarding conduct, attendance, policies, dress, culture and the like. Your familiarity with what is permissible, and what is expected of you  will  help to achieve the Ministry’s objectives faster by shortening the learning curve; thus contributing to a more effective and productive workforce.
Hutson was categorical in his statement to the DEOs about how critical they are to the process of transforming the landscape of education in Guyana. “I want to urge you to: Form yourselves into a community of learners-No one knows everything - Share information, ideas, and best practices among yourselves.”
Further, Hutson advised that they be servants: “Remember teachers and the children must be our focus with respect to the fulfilment of the potential of your charges.”
Listening to views of other people and their concerns as  a good indicator of humility was also an important component that the CEO posited to the DEOs. Also of importance, Hutson admonished that they must be agents of change where “the old order must go and you must be the ones to usher in a new dispensation of excellence and quality.
The CEO in wishing them every success for the two days encouraged the twenty-five officers to remain alert and attentive with a view of translating what they learn in the execution of their duties.
The Twenty five include  Clive Joseph  and  Marti Desouza from Region 1,  Netram Doobay and Waneta  Hunte from Region 2,  Caroline Cordis-Daniels and Rondesha  Rowland  from Region 3, Elly Peterkin  from region 4, Sheldon Granville and Samantha Phagu from Region 5, Shonette Fraser, Lalchand Salik and Myra Patterson from Region Six, Velma George from region  Seven, Lionel Jacobs and Clifton David  from region 8, Kateri Joseph, Selwyn Griffith, Samuel Sampson and Chiveon Bovell-Success from region nine, La Shanna Anderson and Yolanda Mentis from Region 10 while Debora  Hutson, Sherwyn Blackman, Shivon Greene and Jeanne Jeffery are from Georgetown.
Read 1955 times Last modified on Wednesday, 26 July 2017 13:35

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