Volunteers from Britain, Holland to boost Maths, Science teaching here
By Chamanlall Naipaul
August 31, 2004
THE delivery of Mathematics and Science instruction in secondary schools here for this academic year will be enhanced with the induction of a batch of volunteers from the United Kingdom and Holland under the auspices of the charitable educational organisation Project Trust. The batch of volunteers, who are here for a 12-month stint, comprises students who have been successful at the Advanced Level of the General Certificate of Education.
At a simple induction ceremony held yesterday at the Georgetown Club, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr Ganga Persaud, disclosed that since the annual programme began in 1992, the teaching of Mathematics and Science in secondary schools, particularly those in the hinterland Regions has greatly benefited from the contributions of the volunteers teachers.
Persaud expressed optimism that the present batch would add to the achievements of the previous groups, and he voiced his appreciation of the sacrifice and service, which the volunteers have been providing to Guyana. The current batch of 22 will be posted to schools in Regions One, Four, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine, and would be involved in co-curricular activities in addition to the formal classroom instructional programme.
Of the 22 members, 20 are from the United Kingdom and the other two from Holland. One of the members grew up in Guyana at Leonora, West Coast Demerara, spending some 13 years here before re-migrating to the United Kingdom. A member of the batch, Richard Turner, told the media that the group is an adventurous one and is looking forward to experience the great cultural diversity of Guyana, which they heard about before coming here.
Project Trust was founded in 1968 as an educational charity on the Hebridean Isle of Coll in North West Scotland. Since then, it has sent over 4,000 volunteers overseas. Its main philosophy is to provide young people with an opportunity to understand a community overseas by immersing themselves in it; living and working there for a year. All its projects are vetted for their suitability for volunteers, and none deprives local people of work. It has the expertise and the infrastructure to ensure all volunteers are given a challenging and exciting opportunity to develop themselves, and all the support available to them when they need it.
Its main objectives include:
* To give young people the opportunity to learn about a wider community than that in which they have lived so far, in a country with a different culture to their own, and for a length of time which enables them to appreciate the complete cycle of the seasons.
* To let them learn to use their imagination and skills by undertaking work which they may never have done before, to take up new interests and to utilise their initiative and resourcefulness to help others.
* To return with an objective appreciation of both the community they lived in overseas and their home community, to use their newly learned skills to benefit others and to have a clearer picture of what they want to achieve in the future.
* To help others at home to understand the culture of countries outside their normal experience