Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, on Thursday commissioned a Smart Classroom at the Leonora Secondary School in Region Three, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara.
Minister Manickchand said that she was extremely happy about the occasion since it is the first Smart Classroom to be commissioned in Region Three. She noted, however, that soon additional smart classrooms will be installed at other identified schools in the region such as the West Demerara Secondary School and the Parika-Salem Secondary School and Leguan Secondary School.
She said that the education sector must continue to cater to the needs of the various generations of students. Minister Manickchand explained that such a facility is important not only to the school but to other schools around the country that do not have a smart classroom as yet.
She said that in cases where some schools do not have a specialist teacher in a particular subject area, a teacher from the Leonora Secondary School can assist those students by conducting lessons virtually without having to travel to the other school that needs his or her tutelage.
Minister Manickchand said that teachers will be trained to use the facility. She said that there have been many initiatives to incorporate Information Technology (IT) into the classroom but not many of those projects were taken seriously enough to put the education sector in a position to deliver education online when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
However, she commended those teachers that stepped up to the challenge during the pandemic and managed to teach their students virtually. She said that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the Ministry of Education to regroup and ensure that systems are put in place to have as many children as possible engaged during this time.
Regional Chairman of Region Three, Ishan Ayube said that he is happy that the education sector has a Minister who is delivering progress according to the Government’s policy.
He said that the teachers and students need to grasp the opportunity and utilise the facility to its fullest. He said that the Regional Democratic Council will work assiduously to ensure programs and policies are being executed in the region in an accountable manner.
Regional Education Officer of Region Three, Devindra Persaud, said that the smart classroom has come at a time when the region needs such a facility. He assured those in attendance that the classroom will be taken care of and used for its intended purpose.
He said that the smart classroom will not only enhance the way teachers teach but also how students learn.
Systems Development Coordinator, Godfrey Munroe, said that there are unlimited possibilities with utilising the smart classroom. He said that the facility will allow for technology-infused learning. According to Mr. Munroe, teachers of all subject areas can use the classroom to their advantage.
He said that it is a great opportunity and that the Management Information Systems Unit (MISU) of the Ministry of Education will continue to work with the school to ensure the facility is used efficiently.
Following the ceremonial commissioning, attendees were treated to a demonstration as to how the smart classroom will work.
Just last week, the Ministry of Education commissioned smart classrooms at the Brickdam Secondary School and the East Ruimveldt Secondary School. All classrooms will have an interactive board, a television that allows teachers and students to connect remotely, and motion and voice-activated cameras complete with a face recognition feature.