(January 7, 2021) – The Ministry of Education hosted a virtual consultative meeting today with over 739 Grade Six teachers from private and public schools across Guyana to discuss the writing of the 2021 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).

The Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand told the teachers that coming out of 2020, she hopes the New Year will possess a higher degree of certainty as the Ministry addresses the issues faced by the sector, particularly in a COVID-19 environment.

She said that in 2020 there were several opportunities to lead and do things differently as the sector adjusted and implemented measures to prevent as much learning loss as possible.

Looking forward, the Education Minister said that she hopes the lessons learnt in 2020 are brought into 2021 to be incorporated into the delivery of education. She thanked those teachers that have stepped up during this time to ensure their students continue to be engaged despite being at home since March 2020.

Minister Manickchand noted that while the sector has had a hard year, there are still issues to be addressed this year, particularly the Grades two, four, six and nine examinations. However, she noted that at this time the Grade Six examination is being dealt with first. She said that whatever decision is made will also be guided by the trajectory of the COVID-19 virus and the advice given by the Ministry of Health.

The Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson in his remarks said that the Ministry of Education prides itself in consultations. He said, “We never seek to move without knowing the views of our partners and stakeholders.”

He said that the Ministry recognizes the importance of primary education and has done many things to reach children so that they remain engaged as much as possible. He explained that timetabled content for all grades is being aired on the Guyana Learning Channel while the Broadcasts to Schools and the Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) programs continue to be aired on radio.

He said that today’s meeting, organised by the Ministry should also be seen as a response to concerns that have been raised by parents and teachers over time regarding the writing of the NGSA. He said that the meeting is important so that Officers in the Ministry can know what the relevant stakeholders and partners are thinking on the issue so that any decision made going forward can be well informed.

During today’s meeting, several teachers shared their views on the matter and made meaningful recommendations on how they believe the Ministry should address the matter.

Some of the options discussed included having students write the full examination on content right up to Grade Six or the full examination but on content up to Grade five. The meeting also examined the option of not having children write papers one and two or have them write both papers but with reduced questions. It was also recommended that students can complete projects as a means of assessment.

Consultations continue tomorrow Friday, January 8th, 2021 when parents and guardians of students scheduled to write the NGSA this year will be engaged. Parents and guardians of Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Georgetown will be hosted at 10:00am while parents and guardians of Regions 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 will be hosted at 13:00h.

Parents are asked to make contact with their schools for the login details.


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