Caesar pushes Private Sector partnership in education

Guyana Chronicle
March 31, 2000

GUYANA Inservice Distance Education (GUIDE), a programme geared to upgrade the knowledge of Primary, Junior Secondary and Community High schools' teachers in riverain and distant places areas on core subjects and pedagogical skills, got a further boost Monday.

New GPC Inc donated a quantity of science equipment valued $500,000 at a simple ceremony in the Allied Arts Unit, Queens' College compound, Camp and Thomas Roads, Georgetown.

And Training Support Coordinator of GUIDE, Mr Francis Persaud said the gifts, including beakers, volumetric flasks, pipette and desiccators, would be distributed to all of its resource centres.

Chief Education Officer (CEO) Ed Caesar, who also spoke on the occasion, underscored the need for a closer collaboration between the Government and the Private Sector.

He recalled that, at a recent conference in Jamaica, involving the Private Sector and Education Officers on such a partnership, participants from across the Caribbean and the United Kingdom placed much emphasis on similar cooperation for development in the education sector and betterment of students.

Mr Caesar said local businessmen who attended were enthused after that meeting and a "very productive" session was held here subsequently.

"This kind of collaboration will cause better things to happen for the benefit of our young peoplem," the CEO posited.

He said the gesture by New GPC is a clear demonstration of its commitment to helping students countrywide who would have access to the additional resources, as well.

Caesar warned that, because of the very importance of science, unless the right implements are available the subject will become useless.

He challenged other Private Sector entities to assist in developing young people by making similar donations.

"We need to work closely with the Private Sector and that partnership must be real," Caesar emphasised.

New GPC Assistant Factory Manager, Mr Michael Benn said he was happy to be involved in sharing resources for the fulfillment of science and technical education expectations which are critical for societal development.

His company made a previous donation to schools last year and Benn said it intends to continue to providing aid in future.

Giving a background to the scheme, Persaud said it was started by the Guyana Government in 1995, with technical inputs like electronic and other paraphernalia supplied by the (British) Department for International Development (DFID), in London, England.

For the two-year process, there are centres in Regions Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands), Five (Mahaica/Berbice), Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) and Ten (Upper Demerara/Berbice).

In the first half year, called the Pre-GUIDE period, trainees are exposed to the basic subjects - Mathematics, English Language, Social Studies and Integrated Science, which is compulsory.

Success during that stint means automatic entry into the trained teacher's certificate distance learning course.