New $174M education platform launched to enhance curriculum delivery

To deliver distanced education while school doors are still closed, the Education Ministry on Tuesday launched a new $174 million online learning platform for curriculum delivery that is set to target over 1000 teachers in the initial stage.
The Online Learning Platform for the delivery of Education was birthed in collaboration with the Global Partnership for Education and Tablet Academy.
Director of the National Centre for Education Resource Development, Quenita Walrond-Lewis shared that this new initiative will provide for an integrated online platform, firstly targeting 1022 teachers across the country.
“This initiative is a component of the COVID-19 Accelerated Funding Project, which seeks to support the continuity of learning for people across Guyana…The COVID AFP seeks to provide the hardware, infrastructure, and supporting education through capacity building that will enable educators to deliver to and for their students, quality education inputs,” said Walrond-Lewis.
Educators will receive laptops with the accompanying software and the rollout will further support training for 60 master teachers – who will then offer training in a cascading model.
“The Teams for Education App will allow for the setting up of classes, with facility for teacher and student notes, assessments, group works and live classes. The solution will allow for the Ministry of Education to set security policies up for students and teachers to determine what types of interactions are allowed,” she added.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand indicated that COVID-19 has resulted in an expansion of teaching mechanisms and using technology to replace the traditional arrangement. For this, the Ministry had to brainstorm new ideas to reduce learning loss.
“We have looked at every possible way of delivering education that is not traditional. By traditional, I mean a trained teacher standing in front of the classroom delivering education using a blackboard and chalk. We have had to refashion our learning channel to deliver education according to the curriculum in a time-tabled way to all who can receive that channel.”
This has extended to radio lessons and physical workpapers for the deep hinterland communities. Manickchand welcomed this new development in the technological infrastructure, which is expected to create waves for the education sector.
It was clarified that the services of Tablet Academy were procured through an open bid process, as well as the procurement of laptops for teachers.
“This helps us to roll out a more robust system where we can incorporate technology in an aggressive way with what we know already works to be able to be more effective in the classroom. We believe there is going to come a time and it’s not going to be long off when we are going to be unable to deliver certain topics without the usage of technology,” the Minister emphasised. (G12)