(April 3, 2023) – The National Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics Fair has returned this year with a ceremony held this morning where the Honourable Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand declared it open.

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Students of Queen’s College presenting their project to the Honourable Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand

This year, the fair is being held at the Cyril Potter College of Education, Turkeyen, under the theme “Transforming Education through Innovation and STEAM.”

It has been five years since the last hosting of the event, two of which were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Honourable Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand said that every day the consequences of COVID are experienced in the classroom such as the learning loss that we have not recovered from and antisocial behaviour displayed by some students who suffered from the lack of supervision during their formative years.

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The Honourable Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand viewing the project by the Belle West Primary School

She said that the Education System responded by delivering education through distance means. This resulted in the printing of worksheets, and the production of television and radio instruction among other initiatives to deliver education in a way that had never been done.  Minister Manickchand said that the period taught the Ministry that Guyana has all the resources needed to have a first-class education system.

“You are going to see and you have begun to see a build-out of what is going to be the education system that is resilient to any type of unnatural or natural disaster or pandemics. You’re going to see a continuation and multiplication of students doing well across the world and you going to see statistics that we could only have dreamt of before,” the Education Minister noted.

Speaking on Universal Secondary Education, Minister Manickchand identified the many schools that are currently under construction and those that will begin soon across Guyana, not just on the Coast but also in the Hinterland regions to ensure access to education.

The Education Minister added that the Ministry is on a mission to ensure every teacher in the system is either trained or undergoing training so that there can be 100% trained teachers in the education system.

She said, “so we’re not just building out the infrastructure. We’re making sure once we get children in those classrooms, they will have high-quality education in the classroom. Even as we do that we are providing textbooks to all the children of this country.”

Minister Manickchand said that by September of this year, all the learners from Nursery to Secondary will have all the textbooks they need; something that has never happened in Guyana.

Meanwhile, Ms. Keisa Johnson-Richards, Curriculum Subject Specialist – Science at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) while giving an overview of the fair said that this year 177 projects are being presented for judging by schools from across the 11 Education Districts.

She said that this y

ear’s fair is unique since it follows the STEAM Fairs held in the various Education Districts during March. She said that students at the nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary level will share their experiences and make oral presentations at their booths. They will also demonstrate the processes involved in the preparation of their projects and how STEAM was incorporated.

The National STEAM Fair ends on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, and is open to the public.