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Great Minds Programme

Adolfo Ledo Nass
Great Minds Programme

Some pupils during the 2019 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) AS the Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) Department of Education awaits the results of the 2019 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), it is confident that children in the Region will excel better than ever before.

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This expected improvement is being attributed to the Great Minds programme which was birthed by the Ministry of Education last year.

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The idea was to take the ‘cream of the crop’ of pupils from the 56 primary schools in Region Four for special tutoring for one year from several teachers involved. Speaking on the project in a release, Regional Education Officer (REdO), Tiffany Harvey, stated that over the years much focus has been placed on pupils in need of remedial work. However, she noted that pupils known to excel in their academic work within these many years have been overlooked as the perception is shared that they will continue to do well. “Through the Great Minds, it helped in removing complacency as the students would know that while they are at the top of their respective class or school, there are others who can challenge them, thus forcing them to do better,” Harvey said.

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“They would recognise that while they may have it easy at their respective schools, when they are faced with similar students doing equally well or even better than them they would recognise that there is no room for complacency. As such, they must ensure that their performances remain intact.”

The NGSA was written by thousands of pupils countrywide on April 17 and 18, 2019. The period marked the completion of one year of consistent work with pupils coming from schools in central Georgetown, the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) and the East Bank of Demerara (EBD).

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On weekends and during holidays the selected pupils would assemble at the Beterverwagting Primary School and be exposed to several teachers

The initiative has since been widely accepted and supported by many education officers, even as the children themselves have noted that the programme allowed them to push themselves to achieve even greater success than expected

REdO Harvey said that they are proud of what they have been able to achieve thus far, challenging the children to push themselves further

Pupil at the Mon Repos Primary, Videsh Dowulatram, had commented previously that the assessment was the culmination of the years of hard and dedicated work of him and his colleagues

Meanwhile, Stephanie Datta of Enmore Hope Primary School had said that while she was anxious about the assessment, she was at the same time thankful for the support and assistance given by the teachers through the programme

Meanwhile, Harvey has stated that there were plans in the making to have the project commence with pupils in Grade 5 instead of Grade 6 to give the learners additional time to fully prepare for the assessment

The REdO said: “We want to ensure that we solidify the programme by giving the students a solid two years instead of the one that was created by the Ministry of Education. However, this is the first year and we are going to review it after the release of the 2019 results.”

She said that the programme will continue to challenge pupils in the future and will most definitely prove to be a success in the forthcoming NGSA 2019 results