Minister of Education Shaik Baksh said there is need for stronger partnerships between religious institutions and his ministry to engender moral revival and better academic performances in schools.
In his address at the Second National Seventh-day Adventists Teachers Convention, Baksh also issued a call for support from NGOs, the private sector, community leaders and parents, a press release said. He told the meeting that although a child’s success is not solely the ministry’s responsibility, government welcomes the establishment of religious schools as they instil discipline and create positive change in youth; underscoring that values and morality are key imperatives to achieving this.
As such, the ministry will be revising the school curriculum to promote learning in these areas.
Baksh said the ministry has embarked on a teachers’ reform agenda which aims to equip every teacher leaving the Cyril Potter College of Education with the requisite skills not only to deliver knowledge but to achieve the desired results in the classroom.
He also acknowledged that there are problems in the school system with a high drop-out rate at the secondary level, though he noted that efforts have been made through Technical and Vocational Education and Training to address them. The minister said students’ performances in the literacy examinations at the primary level are also a cause for concern.
He said efforts are being made to address them and praised the many dedicated teachers who work to help their students achieve.
Baksh also lauded the organisers of the conference who pledged to cooperate with the ministry to boost learning in schools. He said too the Teachers Oath presented at the meeting will be distributed to schools throughout the country.
Meanwhile, Acting Chief Education Officer Genevieve Whyte-Nedd, who is also a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Board urged teachers to be “workers of God” committed to helping children become successful adults. Whyte-Nedd said every teacher has a responsibility to ensure that his/her charges learn.
According to the release, the one-day conference was held at the Guyana International Conference Centre under the theme ‘Appointed to Teach, Teach to Transform’.
It sought to inspire teachers to provide quality teaching/learning experiences that inculcate positive life skills in their charges; promote professionalism as a hallmark of the profession, strengthen the capacity of teachers to transform classroom culture and to charter the re-establishment of Seventh-day Adventist Education in Guyana.