The government on Wednesday presented $1M cheques to 13 secondary schools under the National Endowment for Science and Technology (NEST) programme to boost STEM (Science, Techno-logy, Engineering and Mathematics) education delivery.
A release from the Ministry of the Presidency said that the schools are: Queen’s College, Bishops’ High School, St. Rose’s High School, St. Joseph High School and the St. Stanislaus College from Georgetown; Anna Regina Multilateral School from the Pomeroon-Supenaam Region; Zeeburg Secondary School and the Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) Hindu School on the West Coast of Demerara; President’s College on
the East Coast of Demerara, Rosignol Secondary School, West Coast, Berbice; Berbice High School in East Berbice-Corentyne, Three-Miles Secondary School in Bartica and the Mackenzie High School in Linden.
Addressing Head Teachers and students of the beneficiary schools, who attended the ceremony at State House, President David Granger said that this first official disbursement of funds is an expression of the confidence.
“This is not a side show. This is essential to the development of our country… I do believe that apart from having a stable home, having food, clothing and shelter, the most important thing that adults can give to their children is a sound education. There’s nothing that you can achieve that is worthwhile in life without a good education,” he said.
Over the past several months, the release said that the Head of State has been actively promoting STEM education and encouraging students and teachers to pay more attention to the four STEM subjects.
“We need arts and humanity, but we also need science and technology and what I ask is that we give a special encouragement to children, who are gifted in science and technology, we give special facilities to schools and provide the resources for children to enter the field of science and technology,” he said.
The release said that the NEST programme had its genesis in the presentation of $1M cheques to several schools last year, including SVN, Berbice High School, Queen’s College and President’s College to improve computer and science laboratories. Head teacher of Queen’s College, Jackie Ralph said that her school pays particular emphasis on science and technology because they are intrinsically linked to the country’s development.
She added that the school has also established a ‘Sci-Tech’ club, which will benefit from the NEST programme so that students can start building their own computers.
Head Teacher of the Anna Regina Multilateral School, Laljeet Rooplall expressed his gratitude to the government for the money which he said will go a far way in boosting the school’s laboratories. “We have the chemistry, physics, biology and two IT [Information Technology] labs. This will strengthen these labs and that will enhance performance significantly, which we are hoping for,” he said