300 trainee teachers getting laptops before year-end -Baksh

-Information Technology to be made compulsory

Minister of Education Shaik Baksh says 300 trainee teachers at the Cyril Potter College of Education will be receiving laptops under the government/World Bank US$4.2M teacher education reform project before year-end.

He also disclosed that the ministry will soon move to make Information Technolo-gy (IT) compulsory in the school system.

Baksh made these announcements in an address at a recent workshop held for Information Technology teachers at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).

The minister said the initiative is part of the ministry’s effort to ensure teachers leave the college equipped with computer skills that will be used to enhance teaching. He also said the ministry plans to propose that government provide all IT teachers with computers.

According to a press release, in its 2008-2013 Education Strategic Plan, the ministry is hoping to equip all secondary schools and 50% of primary schools with computer laboratories by 2013.

To date, work has been completed on 80 secondary and 60 primary schools and the remaining secondary schools are expected to be equipped with 30 computers.

Currently, 14,000 computers are being distributed to schools countrywide as the ministry seeks to complement teachers’ training by providing the tools to effectively deliver the curriculum.

Some 3,000 teachers at both the primary and secondary levels have already completed basic training in IT and plans are on stream to train another 2,000. The training is being hosted at NCERD and centres in the regions.

In addition, the ministry, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat has already developed a roadmap to implement UNESCO’s Information and Communication Technology Competence (ICT) Frame-work for Teachers, an internationally recognised agenda that provides clear pathways for teachers to develop their ability to use computers effectively to support teaching and learning.

Under this collaboration several essential activities such as the development of a new set of training modules for teachers; a thorough review of two key components of the ICT in education initiative; a comprehensive audit of the current capacity of local teachers to use ICT effectively; working with global partners to secure international accreditation for these training modules and the implementation of a robust, three-tiered governance model will be done.

According to the ministry, this year 2000 candidates wrote IT at the CSEC level and Guyana obtained a 97% pass from grades one to three in the Caribbean.

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