Robots in Education

Karen Abrams

The role that robots can play in opening up new avenues in the field of education – perhaps in a manner similar to that played by digital technology a few years ago – stands, arguably, on the threshold of the agenda for debate and discussion as part of the wider discourse of curriculum change and education development in Guyana. The avenue for this discourse has been paved by the advent, a few years ago, of the group STEM Guyana and much later by the more recent announcement by the Ministry of Education of its intention to introduce robotics as a discipline in the local school system.

It is no longer a question of determining whether or not robotics is what one might call ‘relevant technology’ at this stage of Guyana’s development. The facts speak for themselves. Our contemporary economic/developmental pursuits are becoming inextricably bound up with robotics. This is certainly the case with the oil and gas sector, a sector which, for the foreseeable future, looms large in the development of the country.  Accordingly, we must begin to discuss robotics as a stimulating and strategically significant topic as part of the broader issue of the growth and development of Guyana.

The advent of STEM Guyana just a few years ago and the successful participation of a team from Guyana in a 2017 international robotics competition triggered a significantly enhanced awareness of robotics among Guyanese in both the formal and informal teaching and learning systems. There developed limited pockets of discourse regarding the desirability or otherwise of incorporating robotics into education if only for the purpose of creating an enhanced interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) or as an instrument with which to open the way for children towards a society in which robotics will be consistently integrated everywhere…..

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