Today the Ministry of Education began its engagement with teachers at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level to discuss the preparation of students for the 2021 examinations.
During a Zoom meeting today, CSEC and CAPE teachers were engaged by the Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, Chief Education Officer Dr. Marcel Hutson and other Senior Officers within the Ministry.
Minister Manickchand in her remarks thanked the teachers for stepping-up over the last seven months by whatever available means to engage their students.
She told the teachers that the engagement between the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and the Ministry of Education has raised issues on how Guyana handles these two important examinations next year.
She reminded the teachers that the two examinations are controlled by CXC and as such Guyana has to ensure it puts systems in place that allows its students to be prepared to sit the examinations.
This preparation will include the completion of the Syllabi and the School Based Assessments (SBAs).
She said that to properly prepare students, it may require the physical reopening of schools at some point just for the CSEC and CAPE students to benefit from face-to-face instruction and completion of SBAs.
"Our purpose here is to make sure that we can help the students under our care to be the best version of themselves and that their futures are secure," Minister Manickchand remarked.
She noted that presently work is being done in schools across the country to prepare them for an eventual reopening. These works include the weeding of grass, installation of sinks, troughs and toilets with running water. Minister Manickchand added that cleaners will be available and they along with the teachers and students will receive packages containing vitamins, masks, sanitizer and alcohol sprays to ensure that they remain safe during school hours.
The Education Minister said that Central Ministry will be open to offering all necessary support to teachers particularly since there will not be a "one size fits all" approach.
Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson said that we are working in a different time that requires strong leadership, supportive parents and a concise plan moving forward.
Assistant Chief Education Officer (Secondary) (ag), Mr. Ameer Ali addressed the issue of SBA preparation while the Deputy Chief Education Officer (Development) Ms. Volika Jaikishun addressed the issue of textbooks and attendance records.
During today's meeting, teachers made several suggestions on how students can be prepared for the two examinations under the most efficient and safest conditions.
During the course of the week, the Ministry will be engaging teachers and parents/guardians at the CSEC and CAPE levels from each region to discuss the said issue so that informed decisions can be made moving forward. Today's meeting was attended by almost 500 teachers from the two education districts.