‘No child is born dunce or a waste’- Chief Education Officer

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As the Ministry of Education works to reduce learning disparities among students from the pre-school level, Chief Education Officer (CEO), Marcel Hutson has reminded that each child is gifted.

“No child is born dunce, or a waste,” he told those gathered at Parc Rayne on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) for the beginning of a National Sensitization Workshop, on Guyana’s Early Childhood Development and Good Practice Guide on Thursday morning.

“It is for us to find the ways and the means, the strategies, the methodologies and the mechanisms that will cause those children to really fulfil potential,” he further explained.

The CEO noted that there are many students who have a tremendous difficulty in literacy for example, “because we miss that fundamental period when their brain is so wired to internalize concepts at that very early stage in their development.”

The Early Childhood Development and Good Practice Guide was formulated through a partnership between the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

A section of the gathering at the event [Ministry of the Education photo]
Drawing from experiences of different countries in the region, the policy guide seeks to ensure that children benefit from early childhood education programmes and is being circulated in countries across the region.

During her address, Education Minister Nicolette Henry said such capacity building ventures will improve performance and will enhance the country’s abilities to function, adequately in the education sphere.

“The knowledge, skills, and practices of early childhood are important factors in determining how much a child learns and how prepared that child is,” Minister Henry said as she recognized that told educators are being asked to have a complex understanding of early childhood development.

The National Sensitization workshop is being conducted by Sian Williams of Jamaica and Leon Charles of Grenada, two leading EC Development specialist from the region.

It is intended to develop an understanding of the specific principles that have to be addressed in programming for each of the areas of good practice covered by the guide.

Additionally, the workshop is intended to explore how principles can be applied to the specific national setting, including discussion on whether the applications in the guide are appropriate for Guyana’s context.

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