‘Operation recovery’ launched to get children back into the classroom

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The Ministry of Education has launched ‘Operation Recovery’ within the 11 Education Districts to find those primary school children who have been continuously absent since school re-started and those who have missed the recent National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) mock examination.

This move will see Education Officers from Central Ministry and within the Education Districts along with Regional officials and community activists fanning out into communities to locate these pupils.

The exercise aims to ascertain the location of the students and the reasons behind their absenteeism so that a determination can be made about how the ministry can assist these students with returning to school.

Education Officers conducting outreach activities for ‘Operation Recovery’ in Supenaam Creek, Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Photo: Ministry of Education/February 24, 2022)

The scientific data gathered from countries around the world in numerous studies by varying organizations continue to show that the long school closures resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic will lead to an increased rate of school dropouts and tremendous learning loss unless countries take urgent, practical measures to mitigate against same.

This will not only affect the academic attainment of young people but ultimately their economic and social development as they become adults.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that this generation of children and youth cannot afford any more disruptions to their education and predict that unless practical measures are taken urgently this generation could lose more than 17 trillion dollars in earnings in their lifetime, have their academic growth stunted and their mental health severely affected.

The Ministry of Education remains committed to keeping school doors open and having as many of our pupils back in school and where students failed to come to school, to determine what needs they may have and to attempt to meet those needs.

The ministry believes firmly that urgent, practical, sustained measures such as teaching and learning from a consolidated curriculum, the provision of textbooks, re-training of teachers, using technology in the classroom and Operation Recovery will mitigate against the predicted loss to our students and country.

The ministry warns that any individual or organization that promotes the closure of schools or discourages parents from sending their children to school is doing harm to Guyana’s children and our country as a whole and encourages all stakeholders to be responsible during this time and to lend their support to this effort so that we can reach every pupil and give them the education they rightfully deserve. (Ministry of Education press release)

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