IDCE to launch literacy project

Stabroek News
November 7, 1999

The Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE) is set to embark on a new four-year project entitled 'Literacy for a New Economy' to be undertaken in collaboration with three colleges of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC)--Fanshawe College, Mount Royal College and Bow Valley College.

Director of IDCE, Samuel Small, explained that the overall goal of the project, which is being financed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is to strengthen the "essential skills" required by Guyanese youths to become empowered through employment and through effective functioning in their work places, communities and families.

Small made the announcement while delivering his report at the sixteenth annual graduation exercise of the institute at the National Cultural Centre on Friday. Over 100 students received trophies and certificates. Shazeela Alli was named best graduating student.

Similar graduation exercises will be held later this month and in early December in Wakenaam and Vreed-en-Hoop, West Demerara in Region Three, on the East Bank in Region Four, Linden in Region Ten, New Amsterdam and Corentyne in Region Six, Anna Regina in Region Two and Bartica in Region Seven.

The IDCE director said that the institute, which is the extension arm of the University of Guyana, has been expanding annually despite numerous constraints.

He said in pursing the mandate of helping the university to become a dual mode institution, the IDCE obtained the assistance of the British High Commission in securing the services of two British Executive Service Officers (BESO), who had served the Open University, United Kingdom, for several years. The officers served the institute for three months and their activities included working with the Faculty of Education to enable staff members to develop a certificate in education (primary) by distance education, working with the media officer on strategies for using other media to support print materials and reviewing distance education programmes offered by the institute.

Small disclosed that one of the highlights of this year's activities was the holding of the second Distance Education Conference under the theme, 'Promoting Quality, Pragmatism and Partnership in Distance Education'.

The conference was made possible through the joint venture of the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), the National Centre of Education Research and Development (NCERD) and the Guyana In-Service Distance Education Project.

The director described the conference as an effective international conference since it had participants and resource persons who shared their ideas, perspectives and experiences from different backgrounds.

The vision of the institute for the new millennium includes attainment of proper housing of its headquarters, better staffing with appropriate information and developing the institute into an integral part of a co-ordinating body promoting the development of a dynamic open and distance education thrust in Guyana with international links.

British High Commissioner, Edward Glover, who delivered the graduation address, said that the graduating students are a treasured legion to Guyana because they took on distance education to advance their career and knowledge.

He noted that the challenge for Guyana in the twenty-first century was to produce quality education. He reminded the graduands that education was a lifelong undertaking since they needed to meet the challenges that will pop up from time to time.

Glover pledged that the British Government will continue to help advance distance education in Guyana.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples