The new Grade Two curriculum for the nation’s primary school learners is currently undergoing a review process and a pilot programme using it will commence in September, the Ministry of Education has stated.
On Monday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the Subject Specific Committee spent time reviewing the first offering of what will be the new Grade Two curriculum, the Ministry revealed in a statement.
The Curriculum Review process comes under the Guyana Education Sector Improvement Project (GESIP) which is being coordinated by Mrs. Quenita Walrond-Lewis.
According to Mrs. Walrond-Lewis, the Grade Two curriculum has been written by a team of writers, including classroom teachers, officers from the National Centre for Education Resource Development, the University of Guyana and the Cyril Potter College of Education.
“So it’s a Guyanese curriculum written by Guyanese and they are working with the team of consultants. On the consultancy, we have subject specialists that have a wealth of experience and knowledge in curriculum writing as well as classroom practice in the core content areas” she explained.
She said that the Subject Specific Committee comprises persons from within the Ministry of Education who have particular subject matter expertise in the four core areas to review what the writers have done.
Moreover, it was noted by the Project Coordinator that since it is a revision of a curriculum for a particular grade, the final product will be more holistic and inclusive as against reviewing a specific subject area.
The review process targets the four core subject areas, which are Science, Mathematics, Social Studies and Language arts. However, among the subject matter specialists that participated in the two-day review process were education officers representing Special Education Needs (SEN), Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Literacy and the Allied and Expressive Arts.
Moving forward, Mrs. Walrond-Lewis said that the next step is to collate the feedback and make that submission to the consultants that will make the necessary adjustments. Following this level of tweaking, the curriculum will be released to a Core Technical Committee which is the final layer of review before the curriculum is used as a pilot starting in the new school year.
Assistant Chief Education Officer (Nursery) Ms. Samantha Williams said that the Ministry of Education is very excited about the curriculum review process because it has been decades since Guyana has reviewed its curriculum.
Being a language arts specialist, Ms. Williams said that one of the very noticeable components in the new Grade Two curriculum is that it is very inclusive.
She said that the Ministry has always been working with teachers to bridge the gap between the children’s home language to Standard English.
“We are seeing a lot of emphases is placed on guiding our children through that process, moving them from being native speakers and then getting them to be speakers of the standard-English. So I am very excited about that,” she said.
The Ministry of Education’s National SEN Officer, Ms. Savvie Hopkinson said that the curriculum review process is very important because it allows for special education needs to become inclusive in the entire curriculum process.
She said that the involvement of SEN helps to ensure that the process takes into consideration the right resources, technologies and assistive technologies that are needed and that they are multi-sensory approaches which can help in the various multiple intelligences and learning styles that will cater to the needs of all categories of children.
The grade two curriculum has also been credited as having a greater practical approach to learning. This was explained by the Coordinator of the Secondary Competency Certificate Programme (SCCP), Ms. Stacey Osborne.
She said: “I am very happy about most of what was included because it is not just theoretical but it allows for practical learning for children to be participating in activities which will accompany the theoretical aspect.”
She said that the new curriculum will cater to teachers having to expose children to the physical environment outside of the classroom.
“There are students that can tell you something but they cannot identify it because they were never exposed to the identification of it and that is what I am applauding now,” Ms. Osborne commented.
There has not been a review of the National Curriculum since 1976. The Ministry of Education intends to review the curriculum for nursery, primary and lower secondary levels to improve student performance and to modernise the quality of education that is offered to the nation’s children.