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– a means to helping needful societal changeBy Sharmain GraingerFor 30 years, the work of the Ministry of Education has been backed by the indispensable role of an institution that is only poised to further advance the delivery of education.  In fact the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) situated at Kingston, Georgetown, has been described as the “engine” of the Education Ministry.Current NCERD Director, Ms. Jennifer CumberbatchNCERD has responsibility for satisfying the training and curriculum needs of the public education system and is therefore intended to help cater to the learning needs of the nation’s children. Its function, though clearly defined, has evolved over the years. But this evolution was highly dependent on networking, according to one of the early Directors of the institution, Ms. Florine Dalgety. She took over its reins on November 1, 1991, a stint that lasted until June 30,Jerseys NBA Cheap China, 1998.Dalgety, at a thanksgiving service to kick start the celebration of the entity’s 30th anniversary, stressed that even today networking is imperative. “When we look at national needs, networking now is even more critical,” she asserted. In fact, she is convinced that NCERD has a key role to play in fostering positive thinking and attitudes, a notion that is increasingly being emphasised by educators.According to Dalgety,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, the institution will have to seek to bring into being a method through which teachers are encouraged to teach those within their charge how to create positive change. And this, she insisted, must start with teaching them how to love each other, as she mused over some of the troubling behaviours – some violent – that have been exhibited many within society.“We need NCERD to play a bigger role, not just an education role, but a role of making Guyanese human. There is a sense that we have lost something…(maybe) it is the stress level in the land, or what (it is) I don’t know, but homes need to be helped; homes are not giving it and so we look to you (educators).”Dalgety observed that the role of NCERD today is a much more difficult task than when she was a Director back in the day. She thoughtfully theorised that “the nation now needs a new crucible for pulling us in and dealing with the wrongs. We know that several things have to go and several other things have to be burnt,” the former Director stressed.M.s Florine DalgetyShe continued, “Yes NCERD did well in the past; I don’t know how you’re going to do it, but if this nation is going to be pulled up, NCERD has got to do it.”  This is in light of her observation that politicians haven’t the wherewithal to tackle the prevailing societal problems in isolation.Dalgety moreover outlined that with NCERD leading the way, the teaching force throughout the land will have to partner with the homes and the communities and somehow cause them to know that “we care enough to bring Guyana back to the place of nobility; to bring Guyana back to a place where we expect excellence in our own behaviour and demand this of our children; bring Guyana back to a place where we are committed…where we are not interested in our own brilliance, but we are interested in together what we achieve”.And yet another former Director of the institution weighed in on NCERD’s role as he reflected on his tenure at its helm. Mr. Mohandatt Goolsarran served from November 1, 2001 to January 6, 2012. He too attended the recent thanksgiving service which was convened at the Kingston, Georgetown institution.As he shared his reflections, he suggested that efforts be made to “do some stock-taking,Cheap NFL Jerseys, look at some of the innovative programmes we had initiated initially, where we are with them at this time, and make plans and projection for another 30 years”.And there have been a number of initiatives that were embarked upon by NCERD, particularlyMr. Mohandatt Goolsarranin the area of curriculum development, Goolsarran observed. He disclosed that over the years NCERD has worked in collaboration with consultants to look at the structure of the curriculum. This, he noted, had allowed for the initiation of a programme of some level of democratisation of curriculum delivery in the school system. But advancing the work of NCERD has not always been fully supported.“We involved parents, social groups and we established a Curriculum Advisory Committee. It functioned for maybe a year or two and then disintegrated because the different pockets in the community had their own specific agendas and in some cases they were unbending, so we were unable, on some issues,NFL Jerseys Supply, to have consensus,” said Goolsarran.He however assured that NCERD has been able to help advance teacher training in all of the country’s administrative regions, though at times funding was minimal.He nevertheless related that based on interactions with teachers, learning resources were identified to help both students and teachers.It is therefore anticipated that because of the role NCERD has embraced, it is on track to help foster the societal change that has been referenced by Dalgety.Last week NCERD commenced celebrating 30 years of existence. And according to its Director, Ms. Jennifer Cumberbatch, NCERD has developed considerably over the years. Cumberbatch assumed directorship of the institution on October 1, 2012. Other directors have included Professor Dennis Craig (1986-1991) and Mr. Clarence Perry (1998-2001).While the introduction of NCERD was a venture that came to fruition with the support of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the institution has over the years benefited from many partnerships. Some of the strategic partners have been the World Bank, various embassies,NFL Jerseys China, the University of Guyana, Caribbean Development Bank, CARICOM and so many more.“Nursery, primary and secondary textbooks have been produced along with their manuals. Countless radio and television programmes; the national examinations with different names over the years and at different times,NFL Jerseys Wholesale, laboratories such as the science and IT have all been added,” said Cumberbatch.But although NCERD has introduced many things over the years, Cumberbatch insisted that “that’s just the tip of it all.” At the thanksgiving service last week to kick start the celebration of its anniversary, she stressed the importance of the mission of NCERD and called upon educators to help raise the overall quality of education in Guyana and, by extension, improve a daunting  societal state.
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