Pilot programme for science, maths launched in Bartica schools

First Lady, Sandra Granger (left) presenting a robotics kit to a representative of the Three Miles Secondary School. (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

The Office of Climate Change (OCC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, on Tuesday launched the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) pilot programme in Bartica, Cuyuni-Mazaruni – Region Seven.

According a release from the Ministry of the Presidency (MoP), the event was held at Three Miles Secondary School and saw First Lady, Sandra Granger, Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson, Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall, Head of the OCC, Janelle Christian, Assistant Executive Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Dr Mark Bynoe, members of the STEM Guyana team, teachers and students from the Three Miles Secondary School and the Bartica Secondary School in attendance.

The First Lady underscored the importance of STEM education in future developments, expansion and maintenance of energy security in Bartica and across the country, the press release said. Mrs. Granger lauded the OCC and the CCCCC (5Cs) for their respective roles in making the programme possible.

First Lady, Sandra Granger, Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson, Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall, Head of the Office Climate Change, Janelle Christian and Assistant Executive Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Dr. Mark Bynoe share a photo moment with the teachers and students of the Bartica Secondary School’s STEM team. (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

Reviewing the success of the STEM programme since its launch in August 2016 in Guyana, the First Lady recalled the Guyana team’s performance at the 2017 First Global Challenge in Washing-ton, D.C. where they finished tenth out of 165 countries, according to the press statement. She encouraged all teachers and education representatives to rethink their approach to education when dealing with students in this new age of learning.

Stressing the importance of a new approach to education also, was Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson, who said that it was time for Guyana to move away from the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ approach to learning, onto a more ‘learning by doing’ approach in the classroom.

“As we prepare new generations to live well in a changing world, we recognise that learning by doing is an essential part of education for sustainability…,” Hutson was quoted as saying in the statement.

The Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall, described the launch of the STEM programme in Bartica as the ultimate investment in the future of Bartica youths. “This programme has the potential to equip you with tools needed to ‘Green’ Bartica,” Marshall was quoted as saying in the press release.

The Headmaster of Three Miles Secondary School, Daniel Williams, said he is elated about the introduction of the programme as he believes it will benefit his students significantly. “I am happy that our school was selected because this activity is a hands-on activity for the students. They can learn by using their hands,” Williams was quoted in the release from the ministry. Many of the students shared similar feelings of excitement, describing the programme as enjoyable and fun.

The Government of Guyana through the OCC, had received financing from the Government of Italy in partnership with the CCCCC to support a project called “Transitioning to National Energy Security” for the Bartica community. The project is being executed by OCC aims to establish a reliable point of reference for the existing state of energy in Bartica, as it aspires to become the first ‘green’ town in Guyana and the Caribbean.

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