Education Minister commissions Smart Classrooms in New Amsterdam, Skeldon Line Path High Schools
Kaieteur News – Region six students are poised to take their learning experience to new levels following the commissioning of smart classrooms at New Amsterdam High School and Skeldon Line Path High School. These classrooms have items such as interactive boards, televisions that will allow teachers and students to connect and interact remotely. Motion and voice-activated cameras along with a voice recognition feature are also installed to ensure effective communication between participants.
During yesterday’s event, Education Minister Priya Manickchand expressed her excitement at commissioning the smart classrooms in the region. They are now the fifth and sixth smart classrooms commissioned across Guyana.
Despite the joyful occasion, the Education Minister said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must be aware of the difficult experiences facing Guyana and the world at large. He said the pandemic had been a sobering experience in reference to the tremendous impact it has had on the education sector. Explaining this, Manickchand said COVID-19 forces schools to close and shows how important technology is to providing education.
While the Ministry of Education has a strategic focus on installing smart classrooms, Minister Manickchand said there is an equal thrust to increase the number of trained teachers in the education system.
“Even as we make smart classrooms across the country and improve facilities to access online teaching, we need to make sure we pay attention to teacher training,” the Education Minister noted.
He said the two go hand in hand. To this end, Minister Manickchand reported that from Monday next, Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) would begin online teacher training. He said this approach has allowed the college to increase its enrollment from around 500 students last year to over 2,000 new students this year.
Furthermore, the Minister was keen to point out that the education sector would have moved from having 32 per cent of trained teachers in the 90s to 70 per cent over the last 15 years. Going forward, Minister Manickchand said, “We commit to you that we will move to 100 per cent trained teachers in the public education system during this term of office.”
Speaking to the benefits of smart classrooms, Minister Manickchand said he would allow the schools to teach lessons to students in any part of the country, including the hinterland. He said this would reduce the disparity in education provision between the hinterland and coastal schools.
“We are building a program in the Ministry to ensure that smart classrooms are not just in schools, but are used effectively for the benefit of students, teachers and the wider community,” Minister.
Minister Manickchand added that these activities to commission smart classrooms are more than having headlines in the news and on social media platforms. He said these programs would be analyzed and measured to ensure they were used effectively to produce the desired outcome.
During his remarks at the commissioning yesterday, Regional Chairman Permaul Armogan said using technology for learning was a hugely important development in the education process. He said research has shown that technology-assisted learning has become a better method of teaching.
New Amsterdam High School principal Vanessa Jacobs supported the Chair’s comments as she pointed out that while her school does not have a Physics teacher, she will now be able to benefit from the support of educators in that department located. in Georgetown.
The Headteacher also stated that she was pleased with the layout of the classroom and assured them that they would be properly managed and cared for.