Technology education workshop gears for pilot programme in schools

Stabroek News
November 14, 2002

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A special workshop geared to introduce technology education into the school curriculum recently drew participants from among senior officials of CARICOM and the Education Ministry as well as schools in and out of Georgetown.

Financial support of over US$100,000 for the workshop came primarily from the Caribbean Regional Institute as well as the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported on Monday.

Chief Education Officer Ed Caesar called on the workshop participants to recognise the role they have to play in the promotion of programmes that will improve the education curriculum in schools. He said further that as participants and facilitators embarked on this pilot programme, they should ensure that it is useful to the society in which it is being introduced.

The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Education and CARICOM and was held at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) in Kingston, GINA reported.

Head of the Curriculum Development and Implementation Unit at NCERD, Mohandatt Goolsarran noted that the workshop had been in the making for about three years, with Guyana playing a very important role in the development of the idea, GINA said.

“The development of the technology education curriculum and the thrust of development in primary education, together with the Basic Education and Management Support (BEAMS) project coming on stream for primary and secondary schools has made this innovation quite in keeping with our efforts in Guyana,” the information agency quoted him as saying.

Goolsarran asserted also that technology education must be seen in the wider context within the development plan for the Ministry of Education.

He noted that among the Ministry’s initiatives to promote technology education among teachers was a six-week basic computer literacy course for teachers. In addition, while over 300 teachers have already received basic computer literacy skills, another 100 are being trained and about 400 are waiting to be trained, and that is an indication of the interest that teachers have in acquiring skills in this area, the NCERD official remarked.

And Director of Human Development within the Directorate of Human and Social Development at CARICOM, Jacquelyn Joseph in her address at the workshop said that the programme fitted into the wider context of the region’s goals in the area of human and social development.

“Most of us in this region are of the view that the work of the Caribbean Community is focused on only trade and economic development but human and social development is as equally important as trade and economic development,” Joseph pointed out.

In his outline of the workshop, CARICOM’s Quality Assurance Specialist Hollison Gift said the workshop resulted from recommendations made by an advisory task force report on education which later became a Regional Education Policy, GINA stated.

In the report the task force had called for the inclusion of technology studies in the curricula of schools either separately or in combination with science courses and the creation of a pool of persons in skills and abilities that span the fields of maths, science and technology, GINA said.

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