By Vishani Ragobeer
Ahead of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), which will be written on August 4th and 5th, 2021, Grade Six pupils will be able to benefit from extra video tutoring, daily, through an ‘NGSA booster’ programme developed by the Ministry of Education.
This programme was launched on Friday at the National Centre of Educational Resources Development (NCERD) in Kingston, Georgetown.
According to the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, the videos cover all of the topics from the first 20 weeks of Grade Five that this year’s pupils will be tested on. It will also cover material from Grade Four, which pupils are likely to be assessed on. The pupils will not be tested on material covered in Grade Six since learning has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We don’t want students going into the room, our Guyanese babies, and feeling so heavily unprepared for this exam, that they feel like we are committing an assault on them or we are hurting them emotionally or psychologically because we are sending you into the exam unprepared,” Minister Manickchand said, adding: “We don’t want that and that is why this programme is being launched today.”
It was explained that the NGSA booster will feature pre-recorded videos of Guyanese teachers explaining topics in the four subject areas- Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies.
“A particularly nice feature in this series, this NGSA booster is that teachers will take you through past exam questions and tell you the answers and how to arrive at those answers if you see similar questions on your exam paper,” the minister said also.
The NGSA Booster programme has been developed by the Guyana Learning Channel and is expected to be available in all regions, for pupils to view and help supplement their preparation for the NGSA. This year’s NGSA will be set by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
The ‘Booster’ will also be shown on E-Networks Dream TV and Atlantic Cable TV. All episodes will be available on YouTube.
The use of the Guyana Learning Channel, Minister Manickchand explained, is to ensure that the tutorials can be accessed by those pupils in riverain and hinterland communities, where there is limited internet connectivity.
In those communities where there is limited or no internet connectivity, as well as limited access to satellites to connect to the learning channel, the minister noted that arrangements are being put in place to have all of the content disseminated via flash drives for viewing on communal televisions.
She also highlighted, “We are in the process right now of purchasing televisions, solar systems and satellites for every single hinterland riverain community.”
This, she explained, is being done to ensure that each learner can connect to the Guyana Learning Channel and have access to the content that is shown every day to supplement online learning.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Guyana Learning Channel, Aneisha Mohammed highlighted that the videos will be shown on the Guyana Learning Channel on Mondays to Fridays from 10:30 hrs to 15:50 hrs, and then rebroadcast from 17:00 hrs to 19:00 hrs. There will also be a full rebroadcast on Saturdays and Sundays from 09:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs.
Every Sunday, a timetable of what topics will be covered during the scheduled programming will be made available on the Facebook pages of the Guyana Learning Channel and the Ministry of Education.
A similar ‘booster’ programme is being developed For the upcoming Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, to be written by students in Forms Four and Five at the secondary school level, according to the Education Minister.