Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, M.P., said teachers must first be equipped and trained to properly deliver online education.
She was speaking at the 144th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union held in Indonesia last week.
Under the topic ‘leveraging Information and Communication Technology as an enabler for the education sector, including in times of pandemic’, Minister Parag addressed technological advancement in the education sector.
“To expect our teachers to deliver online education to our children, we must first equip them, we must ensure that they are not only trained in the use of the requisite education delivery platforms, but also in the art of content creation for an online environment, because, as we know, there is a notable difference between self-study and online learning.”
Minister Parag also shared the many initiatives undertaken and implemented by the Government in an effort to leverage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the delivery of education during the pandemic.
She noted that developing countries such as Guyana requires “significant retooling” of educators across all levels, since “our primary method of teaching revolved largely around the chalk and blackboard.”
Furthermore, the public service minister stated the importance of digitally preparing Guyana’s children and teachers to go forward with the education sector even in the face of a pandemic.
“Importantly, whatever systems we implement must be effective and equally sustainable, because now, our generation has been forced to be skeptical about the future, and mindful that being faced with another pandemic is not impossible,” she noted.
Minister Parag further added that the government must ensure every sector is built in resilience, especially the education sector. She also reiterated the importance of balancing in-person learning with the use of ICT.
Already, the government has been working with several partners, including the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and ProFuturo Foundation to train teachers in the use of ICT and other projects with international partners to develop the education sector in Guyana.