New learning platform in the works to address education inequalities – Pres. Ali

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A new learning platform that will allow children all across Guyana to benefit from access to the best-skilled teachers in all subject areas is in the works, according to President Dr. Irfaan Ali.

The President said this while addressing residents of Lethem in Region Nine (Upper Takutu- Upper Essequibo) before he recommissioned the Lethem SMART hospital on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, the results of this year’s National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) was announced. During his address, the President said that he was heartened to see many children from the hinterland regions, including those in Region Nine, perform well at this assessment.

Still, the President said, “It is great to go off to the top schools but I am very concerned for all the children.”

He lamented that there are some disparities that disadvantages children in these hinterland communities at times. These include the unequal access to trained teachers and digital technologies, which became crucial as schools were closed over the past year.

And, Dr. Ali said that smart, innovative solutions are needed to deliver education equally and equitably. It is for this reason he highlighted that the Ministry of Education will be working to develop a learning platform to connect children all across Guyana with the best-skilled teachers.

This platform, he explained, will include a collection of “elite teachers” who have the ability to deliver a “higher product.”

“If we had the best mathematics teacher in Lethem, all of Guyana should be able to benefit from that talent,” the Head of State said further.

He gave no further details on the development of this learning platform but noted that such an initiative would complement existing efforts.

Last year, because of the challenges in delivering education to all children due to closure of schools, a decision was made to provide all of the necessary learning material (including 17 textbooks and other worksheets) to children in every community.

Additionally, the Guyana Learning Channel – which streams solely educational content – was expanded and made accessible in numerous hinterland communities. In those communities where there were few electronic devices or broadcast technologies, efforts were made to provide the material on flash drives and tablets.

And, these efforts meant that those children who had difficulties accessing online classrooms still had some material to use to prepare for the ‘high stakes’ examination that determines what secondary school they are placed into.

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