Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix this morning welcomed an initiative aimed at improving the learning outcomes of children of Venezuelan migrants while fostering social cohesion in several communities in the Barima-Waini Region (Region One).
The government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) is collaborating with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to develop educational interventions. UNHCR representative on the Multi-Stakeholder Committee, Ms Cecilie Guerrero, made this announcement at today’s stakeholder meeting, which was held at the Department of Citizenship. The Committee is tasked with monitoring the Venezuelan migrant situation in Guyana.
Given the language barriers, the children of the migrants are experiencing difficulties communicating and learning.
The first initiative, Ms Guerrero said, is a summer school for both Guyanese and Venezuelan children in three communities. These communities will be identified after discussions with the Education Ministry.
This project is expected to promote a two-way language exchange of English and Warrau; introduction to English for Venezuelan children who are out of school; improve social cohesion between Venezuelans and host communities; and provide opportunities for outreach and communication with Venezuelan communities. This project will be undertaken utilising a community-based approach.
The second project, she said, would be English as a Second Language (ESL) training for teachers, Multi-Lingual Classroom Techniques and ESL support for children from September to December 2019.
These sessions will see the provision of additional training to selected teachers in the Mabaruma sub-district; basic ESL techniques and knowledge; provision of techniques and exercises to encourage ESL students to interact with their classmates; the highlighting of common difficulties for students from Spanish-speaking backgrounds; guidance in conflict management and the implementation of ESL classes for non-English speaking children during the period September to December 2019.