SOME 25 smart classrooms are expected to be enhanced or established, this year, at secondary schools across Guyana, to add to the over 10 schools in Guyana that have already been equipped with smart classrooms over the last two years.
Provisions for the smart classrooms are part of a $1.35 billion allocation in the Ministry of Education (MoE) 2023 budget under the Secondary Education Improvement Project, which is being funded through the World Bank.
This was according to Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, as she faced questions when the consideration of the 2023 budget estimates continued on Tuesday.
“There will be 25 secondary schools benefitting from some aspect of smart classrooms,” Minister Manickchand said, as she faced queries from Opposition Member of Parliament, Natasha Singh-Lewis.
Minister Manickchand did not falter to remind that it was only under the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) that smart classrooms have been set up at secondary schools across Guyana, notwithstanding previous false claims by former Minister of Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes that the APNU+AFC had set up a number of smart classrooms.
In 2021, Hughes had claimed that her ministry had installed and operationalised 11 smart classrooms under the coalition government; however, it was later proven that though the equipment had been procured, the smart classrooms were never set up since the then MoE had never put in place the requisite infrastructure.
As such, the smart classrooms at the schools were never operationalised. It was not until the change of government in 2020, that the People’s PPP/C began aggressively opening a series of smart classrooms across the country.
The first smart classroom was opened by the PPP/C since 2015 at the North Ruimveldt Secondary School, while the second was opened at the Queen’s College in 2020.
Since then, over 10 classrooms have been opened in almost every region across the country.
Smart classrooms have also been established at the Queen’s College, St Stanislaus College, Brickdam Secondary and East Ruimveldt Secondary in the city; President’s College on the East Coast of Demerara; Charity Secondary School in Region Two; Leonora Secondary in Region Three, the New Amsterdam Secondary School (NASS) and Skeldon Line Path Secondary in Region Six, and Christianburg Wismar Secondary School in Linden, Region 10, among others.
The smart classrooms are equipped with an interactive, computerised, touchscreen whiteboard, and cameras which can be used to video the lesson by the teachers and a monitor connected to the cameras.
Teachers of any subject can utilise the devices to make their classes more interactive and attractive to students. This technology is deemed very necessary as the world moves forward to a more technologically assisted methods of teaching.