Education Minister visits NGSA top performers

EDUCATION Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine and Chief Education Officer (CEO), Olato Sam on Wednesday visited Mae’s Under 12, Graham’s Hall Primary and Dharmic Rama Krishna to extend congratulations to the country’s top performers at this year’s National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).

Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine with Anthony Ferreira of Mae’s Under-12 and other students at the school
Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine with Anthony Ferreira of Mae’s Under-12 and other students at the school

Anthony Ferreira of Mae’s Under 12 and Aryan Singh of Dharmic Rama Krishna tied for the top spot in this year’s NGSA with 568 marks each, while Sarena Razak of Graham’s Hall Primary grabbed the third spot with 565 marks.

Minister Roopnaraine, in an interaction with the students and teachers at Mae’s Under-12, noted that the students did very well even through there were slippages in some areas, but overall, the Ministry is pleased with the performance of the school.

“Overall, the girls outperformed the boys, and I want to congratulate the girls and urged the boys to try to catch up… it is very important that you do your best and get your assignments done on time. Do your research on time, do reading outside of the classroom, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for you to read a lot,” the minister said.

“When I was your age, the first thing I had to do was read the editorial to my father since my father was very stern,” he recalled.

He explained that all skills required reading, but also noted that it is essential that students find time to play.

On that note, Dr Roopnaraine said, “I want to see more sport and music in the schools.” Ideally speaking, the minister said he would like to see every school with a small steel band.

Adding that every child is born with some form of musical inclination, the Minister said he would love to see more choirs and children’s participating in singing, since this can also contribute to a child’s rounded development.

“Education is not about books alone, books are important, but I want to tell you that at the end of your education in school, I want to see rounded children, make sure you enjoy your physical education, sports and a lot of emphasis on other things that have slipped away in the education system such as theatre, performances and plays,” the Education Minister noted.

Underscoring that the Ministry does not want to produce a generation who will be regurgitating information, the minister said the next generation of Guyanese should be active physically, mentally and should also do well in the arts.

Dr Roopnaraine also commended the teachers for their work, and noted that without proper teachers, the country will not move ahead in the manner it should. “Education is at the centre of everything we do. Without a solid education, we are going to fail in other areas; the teachers have a really vital role to play in all of this. I personally believe that we don’t prize teachers enough in this country, I think we need to do more to elevate our teachers and this is not just a matter of salary although that is just as important,” the minister explained.

Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam said the students who did exceedingly well would credit their success to hard work and support from teachers and parents.
“There are some who are trying to make a disparity between the children in private schools and public schools. But our education systems serve everybody and all of Guyana’s children. So regardless of which school you find yourself in, the work that you’re doing is really going to help us develop Guyana’s as a whole,” the Chief Education Officer noted.

He said that the Education Bill which is pending will play a new role, and there will be a private school coordinator whose sole purpose will be to ensure that all connections between public and private institutions are clearly mapped out.