Education Ministry hosts “parents, the child’s first teacher” workshop 

Directed towards increasing parents’ active involvement in their children’s education, the Education Ministry on Tuesday hosted a parent-sensitisation workshop under the theme “Parents, the child’s first teacher.”
This workshop, for parents of nursery learners on the East Coast of Demerara, was conducted by the Early Childhood (Nursery) Unit of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), in collaboration with the Department of Education of Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).

Parents of nursery learners on the East Coast of Demerara engaging with Education Ministry officials during a parent-sensitisation workshop

The presenters for this sensitisation included the Director of the Early Childhood Centre of Excellence, and Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Guyana, Lidon Lashley; Special Education Needs Officer Yolanda Trotman-Phillips; and Early Childhood – Nursery Officers Marisa Brandon and Deborah Hutson.
Marking a start to the workshop, Lashley’s presentation highlighted parental involvement versus parental engagement, discussing how the relationship between the school and home can be strengthened to lend to successful strides in the child’s educational development.
“The parents were encouraged at the session to work collectively to devise the perfect equation that can be used as a guide for the best result for their children during their educational lives. An equation that can only be completed if and when they become parents and are engaged and work collaboratively with the school as well as with their child/children to ascertain the learner’s success,” a statement by the Education Ministry expanded.
Offering parents with children who have special needs an opportunity to expand their knowledge on their role, Trotman-Phillips’s presentation, “Special Education Needs and You”, highlighted ways to ensure parents foster an environment of positive learning, growth, and development of their children.
She mentioned the importance of early identification and intervention, signs and symptoms to look for in identifying the possible presence of a special education need, and the procedure of getting the child assessed and/or diagnosed to prove appropriate support for him or her.
Concluding the sensitisation session, Brandon and Hutson’s “Practical ways-the use of home-based resources” sought to teach parents that they can creatively craft ways and strategies to encourage engagement and learning using home-based resources.
“Throughout the session, there was evidence of interested parents who openly participated and interacted with the presenters, sharing their experiences and asking questions for clarification. Parents used this opportunity to eagerly request advice for situations they faced with their children, and brilliantly devised ways of using home-based resources such as buckets, ice trays, funnels, clothes pins, measuring spoons, etc. to engage with their children at home,” the statement clarified.
NCERD Director Quenita Walrond-Lewis, NCERD Curriculum Officer Omawattie Ramdin, and other Education Ministry officials were also present during this workshop.
Parent representatives of nursery schools/classes on the East Bank of Demerara- District Four, will also be participating in a similar session at a later date.