Delegates of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) were impressed after a demonstration of how Guyana’s Smart Classrooms work. The delegates are currently in Guyana for the 12th Biennial Conference.
They were given a hands-on tour of the operations of one of the classrooms by the National Centre for Educational Resource Development’s (NCERD) Information Technology Coordinator Marcia Thomas. The IT Coordinator informed the delegates that the Smart Classroom was born out of a need to meet the needs of the people, especially those in the hinterland regions. Thomas explained that it is also in keeping with Guyana’s green agenda since the room is powered by solar energy.
Many of the delegates were amazed by the system which can effectively contribute to the education process for a large population. Thomas explained that prior to the system’s implementation, teachers were trained to effectively deliver lessons to their students using the new technology. She also indicated that the teacher conducting the lessons has full control of every student’s device.
“With the help of the e-Governance unit we have started connecting all the schools in Guyana. So, every child will have access to education. Every day we have master teachers in here teaching, every child who missed school can into smart class Guyana and pull up that lesson” she explained.
Thomas also highlighted that shortly, an application (APP) will be launched to further enhance the smart classroom. This APP will provide access to hundreds of textbooks, free of cost, for students.
It was highlighted by one of the delegates, Juma Gabriel of Kenya, that his country attempted to implement a similar system, but were not successful. Gabriel noted that after witnessing Guyana’s model, he can now better implement the same in his homeland.
“We have tried the same but I see why ours did not work. We gave tablets to all the pupils and within a month they were all lost. What I learnt is a controlled environment and the empowerment of the teachers’ work… so I think it is a great lesson I am taking home and I am very excited about it” Gabriel stated.
Similar sentiments were also echoed by other delegates who will now be heading back to their countries to implement their new learning systems.
Images: Keno George.