news 20171123 1Residents of West Demerara – Essequibo Islands, Region Three, were afforded the opportunity to engage a team from the Ministry of Education at the most recent parent-teacher town hall meeting.

The Region Three meeting was held at the Leonora Secondary School on the West Coast of Demerara and focussed on the upgrading of the education sector in Guyana.

Chief Education Officer within the ministry, Marcel Hutson in his opening remarks noted that these meetings should not be viewed as “grievance address forums”. Instead, he said, parents should resolve to work collaboratively with teachers and education officials in ensuring their children access the best education.

The CEO explained that the ministry is focussing on teachers’ professional development which will eventually translate into better performances.

“If we are thinking change and transformational leadership then we have to speak about other things too not just money but we have to speak about behaviour patterns we have to speak about mindset, we have to speak about processes and all these things,” Hutson explained.

Presentations were made by Orette Francois, Senior Child Protection Officer of the Childcare Protection Agency, Gillian Vyphius, Chief Schools’ Welfare Officer Ministry of Education and the National Parent-Teacher Association Coordinator, Nadia Hollingsworth. They focussed on the welfare of children and approaches both parents and teachers can implement to produce admirable results in 20171123 2

Some of these issues raised related to truancy, transportation provision, awards, and recognition for top performers, the importance of nursery education and the increased participation of parents at each school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).

The Headmaster of the West Demerara Secondary School, Harrinarine, lobbied for similar forums like these to be held within the region. “I think it is a timely one. The first question I would like to ask is when again would we have such town hall meetings because I think the knowledge shared here this afternoon, I think that the parents the teachers and the students I saw in the audience would have benefitted from this meeting.”news 20171123 4

In response, PTA Coordinator, Hollingsworth said that “the town hall meetings are ongoing, in some instances we are going to go in to communities, we are going to do many radio programmes, we are going to be doing panel discussions in remote areas and every community in this country will be seeing us because we know we have to tackle the root cause of the problem.”