(February 28, 2020) – Parents of children attending schools in communities from Schepmoed to Crabwood Creek in Region Six were engaged over three days in separate Townhall meetings by officials of the Ministry of Education and the Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry where they were encouraged to ‘be real parents.’
The seven Townhall meetings were held on the 25th February through to the 27th. Meetings were held at Friends Primary, New Amsterdam Townhall, Canje Secondary, Gibraltar-Courtland Primary, Tagore Memorial Secondary, Manchester Secondary and J.C. Chandisingh Secondary school.
The town hall styled meetings were designed to speak to parents about the important role they need to play in their child’s upbringing and education.
Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry took the opportunity to emphasize the point that parents must understand the role they need to play in their children’s education.
She said that the Ministry of Education alone cannot mould the nation’s children and that there is need for greater involvement by parents. Minister Henry explained that based on her assessment of students’ performances, she found that in cases where parents are involved, children are more disciplined and perform better in school.
She said, “We want every Guyanese to be the best that they can be. We have to focus on the development of our children and our people.”
Minister Henry urged the parents to take time to connect with their children and to play their role. “If you want your children to be successful, you need to play your part,” Minister Henry remarked.
The parents were advised that during the Decade of Development that has begun in Guyana, the education system and children will benefit tremendously. She said that soon the hot meal programme will be implemented in the East Berbice area and encouraged parents to utilize the resources on the Ministry’s website to access material such as textbooks and past papers for their children.
Moreover, Minister Henry said that during the decade of development, the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes will be strengthened in schools and more emphasis will be placed on the expansion of Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Just recently Fourteen (14) schools from region six benefitted from the Profuturo Programme introduced by the Ministry of Education, where ICT will be used to enhance learning.
Additionally, hundreds of schools across Guyana have access to free internet services. The Education Ministry has also installed Smart classrooms in some schools and there will be an increase of these initiatives all across the nation.
Additionally, one parent said that she is grateful for the David ‘G’ Bus that takes her children free of cost to school. Based on her calculations, the parent is saving close to $140,000 per year.
According to Minister Henry, such meetings are important to know what issues parents and children are experiencing in the education sector and to find solutions in addressing those concerns. She said that the Ministry, parents and teachers must work as a team to improve the system.
Minister Henry told the parents that they need to take their responsibilities seriously so that they can play their role in the development of Guyana.
Representing the Schools Support Unit was Ms. Nadia Hollingsworth, Parent Teachers Association Coordinator who told the parents that they need to perform the duties that are expected of them.
She advised that the emphasis that parents place on education will determine the level of interest that children show in that regard. She told the parents that their attitudes can determine outcomes.
Further, she said that parents need to engage the school to find out what is being done in the classroom so that they can reinforce learning at home through practise exercises and teaching aids. She said that when parents do this, children feel better when they have support at home and school. To encourage improved performance, Ms. Hollingsworth advised parents to set high but realistic goals for their children.
The National PTA Coordinator encouraged the parents to instil good behaviour patterns in children, particularly since the Ministry and its teachers are addressing the scourge of bullying in schools.
Parents were told that it is important for them to communicate with their children while expressing love and concern for their wellbeing.