The Ministry of Education yesterday wrapped training for a group of literacy educators who will use proven best practices to help teachers to effectively deliver the literacy curriculum in the early grades of the primacy level.
The two-day workshop, held at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development, aimed to equip the participants with the knowledge, attitude and skills to identify and correct areas of weaknesses in teaching reading, the ministry said in a press release.
Deputy Chief Education Officer (Development) Bibi Ali was quoted as saying that the initiative is part of a bigger project that was sponsored by UNESCO, to elevate the status of literacy and numeracy at grades one, two and three. “This was necessary because the Ministry of Education wanted to use the information to improve the literacy and numeracy programmes as well as for remedial purposes,” she said.
Ali explained that over the past four to five years the ministry had introduced various programmes in literacy and numeracy at those levels and as such it needed to find out the impact at those levels. “Most importantly, we needed to identify where the gaps were in student achievement,” she said.
According to the release, from 2010 to 2011 the ministry prepared literacy and numeracy instruments based on standards for these grades, trained test administrators, administered the instruments, collected the data and analysed the results. Ali said these efforts have boosted students’ achievements; however, we also have identified some areas that needed attention and we are doing something about it – this is what this workshop is about.”
UNESCO Secretary General (Guyana) Inge Nathoo said the organisation is committed to supporting the local education system in Guyana and has demonstrated its commitment through various initiatives; including the literacy and numeracy assessments conducted from grades one to three. “Now that we know where we are in literacy and numeracy in the early levels at the primary grades, it becomes necessary to take the next step – to ensure that the goals as identified by the project become realised and disseminated into schools,” Nathoo said. On this note, she urged the trainers to work hard to make a real difference in the literacy standards in their respective regions.
Newly appointed Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary) Marcel Hutson encouraged the participants to be catalysts of change. He said pupils must be able to leave the primary cycle able to read, write, comprehend and perform basic calculations. The release said the literacy educators were drawn from regions two, three, four, five, six, seven ten and Georgetown. The session was organised by the National Literacy Unit and sponsored by UNESCO.