The Ministry of Education is continuing its efforts to strengthen the science laboratories in the secondary schools with regards to the safety and quality of these facilities.
As such, site visits have been sustained to schools during which various safety procedures, policies, and guidelines the school should follow in order to maintain a safe environment for students are promoted and enforced.
According to the Quality Assurance Officer within the Ministry of Education, Ms Tiffany Roberts, the aim of these visits is to ensure that the laboratories have the basic utilities to operate every day.
Following the site visits, Ms Roberts explained that there will be external bodies that will undertake the training, equipping and ensuring that systems are monitored and implemented properly.
“The long-term goal of all of this is to ensure that there is a safe working environment that is fully equipped so that the students can have access to a better quality of education,” Ms Roberts noted.
Moreover, if there is a situation where a school is lacking the necessary equipment and materials, the Ministry of Education is working to ensure that each school is stocked properly.
According to Ms Roberts, there have been schools where there is a surplus in equipment and supplies and there have been schools where is an absence of these items.
To correct this, efforts will be made to distribute those laboratory items evenly and to get additional products so that each school and student can have access to the same level of quality of education.
During this process assessment, Ms Roberts noted that when the Quality Assurance team does its report for each school, a copy is sent back to the school and to the Department of Education for each education district.
She said that the work of the Quality Assurance team does not end there since checks are made to ensure that the recommendations in every report are acted on.
Thus far 22 schools have been assessed. These schools are Brickdam Secondary, South Ruimveldt Secondary, West Ruimveldt Secondary, East Ruimveldt Secondary, North Ruimveldt Secondary, Christ Church Secondary School, St. Rose’s High School, St. Joseph’s High, North Georgetown Secondary School, Bladen Hall Multilateral, Beterverwagting Secondary School, Annandale Secondary School, Buxton Secondary School, Kato Secondary School, Tucville Secondary School, Lodge Secondary School, Kingston Secondary School, Central High School, Cummings Lodge Secondary School, President’s College, St. George’s High School, and St. Winefride’s Secondary School.
The intention of the Ministry of Education is to assess all of the secondary school laboratories in Georgetown and those in Regions one, two, five and six that were either constructed, reconstructed or refurbished between 2015 to present.
It is expected that by improving the state of these facilities, there will be a positive effect on the learning experiences of teachers and students.
Moreover, a Quality and Procedural Manual was developed to advise on the construction and use of secondary school science laboratories in Guyana. This manual is a response to the need for standardisation of science laboratories in Guyana and the protocols that should be followed when using these facilities.