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Schools to be reopened fully from April 25; aggressive learning loss programme coming

Last Updated on Monday, 21 March 2022, 21:13 by Denis Chabrol

All schools across Guyana would be reopened fully from April 25, and each child’s performance would be assessed to ascertain learning loss,  Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said on Monday.

Speaking with reporters after the launch of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning programme named SPARK, she said schools were being geared up to address two years of learning loss due to the extended closure, limited face-to-face classes and even drop-outs.

“Some skills that were acquired will be lost and forgotten and you might even have the phenomena of drop outs presenting itself in larger numbers than we have ever seen before and we are seeing indications of all of those things so are we ready… We are making sure of course that schools are ready to be reopened fully from April 25th after the Easter holiday,” she was quoted as saying by government’s Department of Public Information (DPI).

To ensure teachers and students are prepared for the new term, she said the Ministry of Education has implemented a staggered system  to allow students to revisit studies from their previous grade within a 20- week period, before moving on to the new term’s curriculum.

Additionally, the Education Ministry is working to ensure that every school is equipped with the necessary tools and equipment to be fully functional before the new term commences.

The minister also announced a new programme that will be rolled out nationally to target learning loss in the four core subjects.

“You’re going to see an assault on illiteracy, you will see an entire national programme rolled out to recover from the literacy loss we would have had and all the gains we would have made that went down the drain in two years. Every single student is going to be diagnosed, we are issuing a diagnostic for Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science – the four cores. Every student will be diagnosed and each student will be attended to individually to make sure that we recover from the COVID oss.”

The education ministry announced the closure of schools back in March 2020, following the onset of the deadly Coronavirus.

Minister Manickchand said the pandemic provided the ministry with the opportunity to review its literacy programme.