Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 13:53

UNICEF launches State of the World’s Children report in Guyana

news 20171212 2The State of the World’s Children 2017 report was launched today at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), Kingston, Georgetown.

The report, which is prepared by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) looks at issues affecting children around the world. According to Ms. Sylvie Fouet, UNICEF Representative, Guyana and Suriname, this year’s theme for the report is “Children in a Digital World.”
She said that the report highlights both the benefits and challenges of digital technology. Ms. Fouet said that the report looks at how digital technology is impacting the lives of people but specifically children. She said that digital technology can be a game changer.
She said that technology provides opportunities for learning and allows platforms to be connected and used to communicate globally.
During the launching ceremony, schools from eight out of the 10 administrative regions were connected live using the Smart Classroom at NCERD. The UNICEF Representative said that she is looking forward to seeing children in the hinterland connected with their colleagues on the coast to learn from each other, share information and ideas.
However, despite highlighting the positives of digital technology, Ms. Fouet pointed out that excessive use can lead to depression and anxiety in young children. As such, use of technology must be moderate. She said that the impact of technology can be a challenge in some instances.
Further, Director of NCERD, Ms. Jennifer Cumberbatch said that the education sector is poised to take off to become as modern as possible so as to help in the education of the nation’s children. She said that the embrace by the education sector of digital technology, children will learn a lot more. news 20171212 1
Meanwhile, ICT Coordinator within the Ministry of Education, Ms. Marcia Thomas informed those in attendance about the importance that technology can play to provide equal opportunities to education. One of the primary ways this will be done is by bridging the gap between the hinterland, rural and coastal institutions using technology such as the Smart Classroom.
She explained that one feature of the Smart Classroom is that the E-Station can monitor the devices that are used by students to connect to the system. This way, the tutor can know what each child is doing with the device and ensure that it is being used correctly during periods of instruction.
This is bolstered by the classroom management software called “Radix”. With this software, teachers can record lessons and students can participate in the live recording. However, for students that would have missed the live lesson, they can access the recording for as long as one month.
Access to these materials will be facilitated through an app called “Smart Class Guyana” that will be available on the Google Play Store and on the Apple App Store.
Following the speeches and presentations, children from the outlying schools that were viewing the launch from their Information Technology labs said that technology plays an important role in their school life in terms of assistance to complete work and to learn about foreign cultures which boosts their tolerance of others. The students were also shown videos that taught them about the dangers and benefits of technology.
The UNICEF SOWC report was handed over to the Ministry of Education that was represented by Deputy Chief Education Officer (ag), Ms. Ingrid Trotman. Also present at the launch were other representatives of UNICEF, the diplomatic corps, students and teachers from the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School and Queen’s College.

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