Last updated on Wednesday 16 September 2020, 08:03 by Writer
The Ministry of Education officially launched its online training program for teachers on Tuesday to prepare them for teaching through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).
All educators from public and private schools, trainee teachers from Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) and teachers from the University of Guyana (UG) will be able to participate in the 100-hour program, led by the Ministry through a partnership with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the ProFuturo Foundation.
There are over 10,000 teachers in the public school system and at least 1,000 in the private school system. In addition, there are dozens of educators in training at CPCE and lecturers at UG.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand said the company was the first of its kind.
“We heard you when you told us it would help if we gave you training on how to deliver your classes using different platforms…. It’s a big company, but we’re happy to do it. This will be the first time that this will happen here, where all our teachers are trained simultaneously, ”the minister said in a press release from the Ministry of Information.
Meanwhile, ProFuturo’s national project coordinator Selwyn Griffith said that at the end of the course, teachers would be presented with an electronic certificate, which would be recognized by the ministry.
“Teachers will be exposed to two training paths: innovation and ICT in education. In both tracks, teachers will progress through four levels: basic, intermediate, advanced and professional.
He said teachers would also benefit from assistance, with some 300 people appointed as coaches to support the initiative. Mr Griffith added that they hope to complete the first batch of training by October.
In addition, the Ministry of Education has also contacted the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) and Digicel to zero-rate the training website to ensure that teachers have minimal expenses.
The ministry said that while some required training videos were not on the website, they were few in number and would incur minimal fees.
The ministry will address educators from hinterland and riparian communities through adaptive means to ensure equal learning opportunities for all.
After obtaining permission to reprint the training modules, the ministry identified more than 2,000 teachers in the hinterland areas to distribute printed lessons for the theoretical component of the training. At the end of the theory, arrangements will be made to complete the practical aspect.
Local OAS representative Will Campbell and OAS representative in Washington, United States, Luis Benitez, both applauded the government for this endeavor.
Mr. Benitez said he was “delighted to see Guyana as an example for all other Caribbean countries”. He added that they hope the project will be supported as the world moves into the digital age.
The head of the ministry’s management information systems unit, Yoganand Indarsingh, said a project was being prepared for a spin-off program.
To this end, 50 teachers, who would have mastered the program, will undergo the training of 1000 teachers who will later instruct others to develop a hybrid education system.