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…as plans take shape for Science and Technology policyGuyana is months away from having in place its own National Science and Technology Policy and Action Plan, a process which has since brought to the fore the fact that there is a dire need for Mathematics and Science teachers within the Education Sector.The development of the Policy and Action Plan is being supported by Jamaican Scientist,China Jerseys Free Shipping, Dr Arnoldo Ventura,Cheap NFL Jerseys, through a venture sponsored by UNESCO.Efforts in this regard had been intensified in 2009 when Dr Ventura had first come to Guyana to meet with policy makers in order to help craft a mechanism that is most suitable. He had pointed to the fact that in order for Guyana to utilise its natural resources in a more effective and beneficial manner, the use of science, technology and engineering must be applied. Dr Ventura is expected back shortly to help complete the process.National Science Coordinator, Petal Jetoo, during a recent interview with this newspaper revealed that “we are almost at the final stage…Before the middle of the year it should be completed.”According to her,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic, Dr Ventura has had several stakeholder meetings at both the Turkeyen and Tain campuses, and had also held meetings in Region 10 as well as with members of the private sector and other interested parties in this regard.  She disclosed that the effort has been gaining much support as persons are beginning to see that Science and Technology are really the tools that Guyana needs to develop as a country.As part of the preparation process, Jetoo said that a number of areas for improvement were recognised, primary among them being the need for an increase in the number of Mathematics and Science teachers. This problem, she explained, has been the result of a “trickle-down” effect,Cheap Authentic NFL Jerseys, whereby students over the years have been more inclined to other areas of study other than the sciences.As a result there has been a limited number of persons preferring to study the separate Sciences as well as Mathematics at the tertiary level, thus creating a shortage of teachers.  This, she added, is compounded by the problem of migration.“We are not satisfied with the number of students opting for the separate sciences and of course we are trying to deal with this situation because this is determining how many teachers will ultimately be able to teach these subject areas.”She admitted that the existing shortage was the primary reason for the recent announcement by Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon, that Guyana is now being forced to recruit overseas graduate teachers to teach Mathematics and Science.Another move which has already been implemented to address the situation is the introduction of several non-graduate science programmes including Physics, Chemistry and Biology which are being offered through the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).This measure, according to Jetoo, is intended to help upgrade the content and teaching methodology of tutors teaching the sciences. However, there is a need for more teachers to be enrolled in the ongoing programmes, the National Coordinator added.The upgrading of teachers’ content is especially important, she noted, because “we found that a lot of times teachers are not competent in terms of delivering the practical activities and in some instances in terms of the theory.”“As a result,NFL Jerseys Cheap, in addition to the non-graduate programme we go into the Regions and we run workshops…For example this month we plan to have Regions Five and Six on board with the Science workshops which we (NCERD) will facilitate and fund. We do it for several regions sometimes. We have worked with Region Two and we go into different regions to get the teachers on the ground to work with them on how to set up experiments and to have that interaction.”This remedial process, Jetoo said,Cheap Stitched MLB Jerseys, is designed in such a way that at the end of the course teachers will be competent to deliver the separate sciences at the CSEC level, in terms of the practical activities as well as the theory.At the teacher training level (Cyril Potter College of Education) there are also plans to implement a quota system where, according to Jetoo, a specific amount of spaces will be allocated for Science and Mathematics.“What we have found is that a lot of teachers don’t want to opt for training in these subject areas so now we are going to make it compulsory that we have these spaces filled.  If the spaces in the other subject areas are full we will let them know that there are only spaces in the Maths and Science areas.”Jetoo emphasised that it is important for the Ministry to work towards removing the fear associated with Mathematics and the Sciences, even as she explained that often students are overwhelmed by the assumption that only “bright” people can learn these subject areas. “This is a myth. I think this has been a myth that we have had to deal with for years… If you look at the way students are streamed, the brightest children are placed in science but everybody can learn maths and science. It is just a logical application of common sense,” Jetoo asserted.
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