Teacher trainees get $7.9M IT centre
Stabroek News
February 27, 2003

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The Cyril Potter College (CPCE) of Education will be offering, as a subject option, Information Technology to teacher trainees for the secondary stream from the September 2003 academic year.

Deputy Chief Education Officer Genevieve Whyte-Nedd made the announcement at the official opening of the CPCE Information Technology Laboratory at the college's Turkeyen campus yesterday.

Whyte-Nedd also issued a call to past students and friends of the college to subscribe to the purchase of an independent transformer for the institution to guard against power fluctuations and to sustain the IT programme.

The installation of the computer system cost $7.9M. This excluded the cost for professional services provided by the MIS Unit as well as for the services of the contractor who had to upgrade the computer laboratory.

The laboratory has 16 work stations plugged into a network.

MIS Officer, Yoganand Indarsingh in brief remarks said that the laboratory was intended not only to provide IT training for teachers going into the school system but also to provide a certain level of awareness in terms of management information systems (MIS).

He said schools would soon be moving away from the system where marks were gathered on sheets and kept in filing drawers, to a system where data would be kept on hard disc and made available to the regional education departments and central ministry for analysis and other uses.

Whyte-Nedd challenged the college to institute a course for the care and maintenance and repair of the computer equipment.

Noting the efficiency of the computer as an information gathering, learning and teaching instrument, she said teachers must be so many steps ahead of students as some students were ahead of some teachers with the facilities, the equipment and the resources.

Whyte-Nedd said the Ministry of Education was working on the approval of a policy paper so that the status of learning resource centres in the regions could be made to reflect the needs of students in the community. Students who do not have their own computers can go to such centres and have the experience of doing research on the computers in "homework centres."

Noting that many teachers would return to areas where the technology was not be available, she asked students not to be discouraged but to recognise that the ministry had the responsibility to establish community resource centres.

She said teachers should not believe that the IT facilities were only for secondary schools since the programme was being extended to primary and nursery schools through the Inter-American Development Bank-funded Basic Education and Access Management Support (BEAMS) project.

Under the BEAMS project, 300 primary schools will receive computer systems to manage their data. This means that the students coming out of CPCE have to be aware of the management information systems so when they go into the school they would be able to deal with data in an electronic format. (Miranda La Rose)

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