The Ministry of Education is working to harness the use of Information and Communication Technologies including Internet to enhance education delivery in Guyana.
The head of the Management Information System (MIS) Unit of the Ministry of Education, Yoganand Indarsingh, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that particular focus has been placed on improving learning outcomes in the schools, management and administration of the sector.
To meet these objectives, Indarsingh said the MIS Unit has started a process of putting resources into the government schools across primary and secondary schools. Indarsingh explained that the MIS Unit has been working to improve the levels of resources within School IT laboratories. The Unit upgraded 30 laboratories in 2016. This year, the unit is targeting the upgrade of an additional 40 laboratories, Indralsingh said.
“We will basically be providing more workstations in those laboratories, so that more students can have one-on-one access to the computer resources,” Indarsingh explained.
The MIS Unit has also facilitated IT laboratories upgrade at the primary level. There are currently 88 state primary schools with IT laboratories. Indarsingh said that in 2016 the Unit would have upgraded 12 of those laboratories and an additional 12 will be upgraded this year.
The MIS Unit has also been working to provide the teachers with IT resources to facilitate more interactive engagement in the classroom. Indarsingh said that in 2016, the Unit provided 30 schools with a combination set of laptop, projector and projection screens. The Unit will be providing an additional 40 secondary schools with the resources in 2017.
The MIS Unit will also be looking to complete the connectivity of state run secondary schools to eGovernance network in 2017. This would allow the schools to have internet access.
In 2016, 83 out of the 110 coastal secondary schools were connected to the eGovernance network, which leaves 27 schools to be connected in 2017. “What that means is that our students in our computer laboratories or classrooms that are using technology can have access to adequate bandwidth for researching and our teachers will now be able to utilise content online for teaching or learning,” Indarsingh explained.
Internet access is also being made available in the administrative areas of the schools to allow for tracking and uploading of data and the provision of reports to the regions and the central ministry, Indarsingh noted .
He said that by the end of 2017, all public secondary school should have access to internet connectivity as the eGovernance Agency of the Ministry of Telecommunications is currently looking at solutions to connect the hinterland secondary schools to the network.
In in 2016, three (3) of the ministry’s Cyril Potter College of Education ( CPCE) sites were connected to the eGovernance network in addition to nine technical vocational (tech-voc) locations including the Essequibo Technical Institute (ETI,) the Georgetown Technical Institute (GTI) and the Leonora Technical Institute.
The head of the MIS said that in 2017, the Linden Technical Institute (LTI) and the remaining departments of education are expected to be connected to the eGovernance network.