The Hindu College, at Cove and John on the East Coast of Demerara is the beneficiary of a US$300,000 ($60M) learning resource centre compliments of an overseas-based group of Guyanese.
According to a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA), the project was officially opened in the presence of Education Minister Shaik Baksh, Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud, and Minister within the Ministry of Health Dr Bheri Ramsarran two Saturdays ago.
According to the release, the establishment of the centre, called the Zara Learning Centre is an initiative of Mr and Mrs Jay Sobraj, Nardeo Singh, Sarvan Bughu of the US as well as Zara Luxury Apartments and Houses, a business entity in the US. The centre is equipped with a library, computer graphic centre, video/audio centre, a copy centre and a business presentation centre.
Minister Baksh, who delivered the feature address at the opening ceremony, stated that the venture is consistent with the administration’s ideology of transforming the education system to meet the needs of developing Guyana, noting that over the years the education sector had received the largest budgetary allocation and contributes to the GDP.
GINA stated that paramount to the administration’s plans to inculcate the 2006 Information Communication Technology Strategy with the education sector, is the Education Strategic Plan 2008-2013 which outlines the 5-year period all secondary schools in Guyana will be equipped with computer laboratories.
According to GINA, the government has been expanding its horizon to provide proper infrastructure and the Education Minster reminded those gathered of the recent landing of Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) fibre –optic cable to boost internet connectivity as well as plans by the administration to bring another fibre optic cable to Guyana through Brazil.
GINA noted that a key component to having access to technology is the human resource capacity to utilize the services provided and as regards the education system, the Education Ministry will continue to undertake training programmes to widen the technological knowledge of teachers in the public schools and if necessary, the private institutions.
The release stated that the Education Ministry is working with Microsoft and the Commonwealth Secretariat to train teachers and over the past 6 month, some 600 teachers have benefited from this initiative.
Baksh also stated that the Education Ministry will be implementing the Success Maker programme in approximately 60 primary schools in order to increase the learning capacity of students. The Minister also pledged to donate one Success Maker Tool Kit along with other learning software to the Zara Learning Centre.
Persaud, who was performing the duties of Prime Minister stated that technology is recognized to be critical to improving the quality of life, enhancing productivity and efficiency of both the public and private sectors, and providing a competitive advantage in many areas including agriculture, health, finance, education and tourism.
Jay Sobhraj stated that in 2007 the equipment for the Ashram’s first computer centre was donated to the institution and in recognizing that there is need for more development, more computers were installed at the facility and the Big Brother, Big Sister programme, an initiative to assist about 80 children to enhance their literacy skills was created.
The library at the institution is computerized and according to Nardeo Singh, this would create a record of the library’s collections.