The Ministry of Communities, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, launched the first national crossword and word search competition at the Umana Yana on 29 November.
Speaking at the launch, Danielle Campbell-Lowe, Public Affairs Officer of the Ministry of Communities noted that the aim of the competition is to reintroduce a pastime which has become old fashioned and obsolete with the rise of technology in an era controlled by gadgets. It also seeks to harness the brain power of the students in a meaningful way which may encourage word recognition, increase vocabulary, improve spelling and possibly expand their knowledge of words. All words which will be found in the crosswords and word search will reflect a green theme which is in keeping with the government’s focus on the green development agenda and the ministry’s “Green Generation Guyana” sanitation project.
The winner of the competition will be the student who finishes the crossword or word search first. The competition forms part of a broader menu of measures undertaken by the ministry’s Green Generation Guyana Project, where children are taught safe waste management practices. The “3Gs Programme,” which was launched back in February, has seen over 2,000 students from Primary Schools across the country benefitting from waste management education.
In brief remarks at the launch, Owen Pollard, Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), stated that Guyana’s results in literacy over the years have not been of the best and students have demonstrated limitations in their vocabulary. He stated that the Ministry of Education welcomes any activity which will aid in word building skills.
Chief Education Officer (CEO) Marcel Hutson also addressed the audience at the launch. Hutson stated that environmental education is to develop an awareness of, and concern for the environment and other related issues. He further stated that a reorientation of learning through the environment is required.
“Let the environment become our teacher, in this case we need to listen to the environment. What is the environment saying to us? We must learn about the environment, through the environment, for the environment,” the CEO noted while adding, the fact that children are participating in the competition is a testimony that we are moving in the right direction.
“If we capture the minds of our children, in terms of how they treat the environment, I believe that as they grow older they are strategically poised to become agents of change,” Hutson opined.
The first competition saw more than 10 Primary Schools participating. The competition, which is aimed at students at the Grade Three and Four level, will be taken across all regions and will continue in 2018.