Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Guyana Chronicle Article about NCERD

Article 1st October 2008

Members of NCERD’s team: from left, Jane Quinn, Rajwantie Permaul, Stephen Harding, Bibi Shariman Ali and Sandra Persaud

“To plan and implement all in-service teacher education programmes, in order to improve the quality of education at all levels in the system so that education may serve as an effective instrument of social and economic development”.
This is the foundation on which the seven units of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), have banded together to form a highly professional, accountable, modern and democratic education service.

Established in 1986, to coordinate the functions of its units, NCERD has been able to touch all areas of the education sector, from curriculum and assessments to provision of resources and textbooks, some of which are developed by NCERD.

The seven units, brought together through the efforts and funding by the Ministry of Education and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), are:

* Curriculum Development and Implementation Unit, headed by Bibi Shariman Ali
* Measurement, Evaluation and Research Unit, headed by Claudette Phoenix
* Learning Resources Development Unit, headed by Rajwantie Permaul
* School Libraries Division, also headed by Rajwantie Permaul.
* Materials Production Unit, headed by Albert Sugdeo
* Distance Education and Information Unit, headed by Pauline Stanford and
* Administrative Unit, headed by Lucille Griffith.

The units undertake tasks that are imperative to the realisation of NCERD’s key responsibilities, which have significant impact on the Education sector, according to the institution’s director, Mohandatt Goolsarran.

Director of NCERD, 
These responsibilities include:

* Provision of in-service and continuous training (professional, continuous growth and development) for teachers and other personnel
* Development, testing, implementation and evaluation of curriculums for Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools
* Advising on policy guidelines which relate specifically to Regional Learning Resources Centres (RLRC)
* Collaboration with other professionals to keep abreast of international trends in education
* Conceptualisation, development, evaluation and procurement of learning resources
* Training of library assistants, laboratory technicians and teacher librarians
* Promotion of effective teaching strategy practices
* Provision of assistance in the area of classroom management
* Upgrading of the qualifications of untrained teachers in the top regions through Distance and Open learning methodology
* Provision of formal and non-formal educational radio programmes
* Processing of examination papers and analysing results for use by the relevant personnel within the Ministry and other agencies
* Development of tests and scales required for national examinations
* Formulation and processing National Grades 2, 4, 6 and 9 Assessments and
* Printing, collating, storing and packaging papers for exhibition.

For the achievement of these responsibilities, each unit operates under a specific mission statement that complements NCERD’s general objectives. Functioning in different areas, the work of NCERD parallels those of the Ministry of Education’s Strategic Plan 2003-2007, the director stated.

This is in relation to:

* Professional support for the Hinterland Areas
* Improving equity in education by giving special attention to children in difficult circumstances
* Improving the human resource in the Education sector
* Improving the managerial capability of schools for greater effectiveness and accountability
* Information technology literacy and
* Literacy and numeracy.

NCERD’s literacy and numeracy projects hope to target 14,700 individuals. The initiative, started in May, extends throughout the 10 Administrative Regions of Guyana and purposes to help the participants raise their literacy level. Currently, regional coordinators, in association with 200 plus educators, out of a targeted 300, engage students, adults and interested persons in afternoon sessions five days a week, during an approximate seven-hour study schedule.
This effort by NCERD is only one of the programmes that are currently running which assist in educating Guyanese people for the development of the individual and, by extension, the country as a whole. In addition to the programmes established to educate, there are several others that aim at training or improving the human resource of the Education sector.

These comprise certificate courses and non-graduate courses in a number of fields, such as Education Management, Mathematics, English, Biology, Chemistry and Physics for Secondary Schools, and Basic Information Technology, said the director.

“Without NCERD there is no Ministry of Education,” Mohandatt Goolsarran posited.

He added that because of NCERD’s current role, it has been mandated by the Ministry of Education to widen its scope of activities.
A recent addition to NCERD’s list of brilliant minds is Jane Quinn, formerly of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Quinn stated that her sights are set on developing multimedia skills so as to facilitate the use of multimedia in the classrooms across Guyana. Quinn also added that she hopes to have an online infrastructure established, which would assist in making additional content available to many schools in need, on as many platforms as needed.
With more human-based and innovative technological resources, NCERD is expected to continue along the constructive path it has embarked upon to maintain the positive impact that the institution has had on the Education sector.

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