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Over 3000 migrant children enrolled in Guyana’s school system

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…all teachers will be trained to be bilingual – Education Minister

Over 3000 migrant children from countries including Venezuela, Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago are enrolled in Guyana’s school system.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand during press conference held at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) on Tuesday (photo source: Newsroom)

This is according to Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, who on Tuesday said that majority of the learners are enrolled in primary schools across the country where they are benefitting from quality education, hot meals and other forms of assistance being provided to Guyanese learners.
This comes at a time when the government is forging ahead with plans to make Spanish a commonly used language in Guyana, and by extension in schools.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Manickchand underscored the importance of education in the modern world, and explained that her ministry’s policy of no child left behind applies to school aged migrant learners.
In this regard, she explained that works are ongoing to better integrate them into the classroom.
“For the first-time last year, we did NGSA and because we have such a high migrant population, we offer the students who speak or derived from a Spanish speaking country, Cuba or Venezuela, the ability to write their papers in Spanish so they could have read it in Spanish and written in English, or read English and written in Spanish… And we actually saw the children doing a lot better when we offer that humane pathway,” the education minister shared.

Revised curriculum
The Education Ministry through its Distance Learning Department and Literacy Unit at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), will be revising the primary and secondary school curriculum to include Spanish and improve literacy among learners.
The first phrase of this initiative will see the ministry equipping leaners with certain Spanish resources in their independent book bags including a Spanish dictionary and multiple Spanish texts that are age appropriate.
Meanwhile, the second phrase will see teachers being trained to administer Spanish in schools through the provision of curated material which will be produced by the ministry.
According to Manickchand, the revised curriculum and other components of the project will be instituted in the new school term in September.
“This same NCERD here, the productions unit has created material that could be used by even non-Spanish speaking teachers to bring us to a place where we could give basic Spanish instruction. So, the intention of the president which is to make us a bilingual country, we’re trying to meet that intention with the resources, we have Coursera with whom we have engagement that was launched at a stadium is designing courses for Spanish for all of our teachers. So, all of our teachers are going to get training on the Coursera platform to deliver Spanish in their classrooms,” Manickchand added.
In 2023, President Dr Irfaan Ali had announced that Spanish will become a mandatory subject in primary schools as part of the government’s commitment to enhance education at all levels across the country.
To deliver on this commitment Guyana is considering sourcing Spanish teachers from Cuba and Mexico to begin the rollout of Spanish as a compulsory subject in primary and secondary schools across the country.
Minister Manickchand said the details in this arrangement is still being ironed out, while the country trains theirs.
Manickchand highlighted that about 80 per cent of the country’s secondary schools have Spanish teachers; however, many more human resources will be needed to ensure the comprehensive roll-out of this initiative.
The ministry will also consider the services of retired teachers to help deliver Spanish classes. (G1)

The post Over 3000 migrant children enrolled in Guyana’s school system appeared first on Guyana Times.

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