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More young minds exposed to wonders of science

Four primary schools in Guyana have joined a science programme to expose young minds to the wonders of science by encouraging critical and creative thinking.

The Inquiry-Based Science Education programme recently introduced in Guyana is aimed at generating interest among fifth and sixth grade primary school students in sciences.

The National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) received funding in March for the programme from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The aim of Inquiry-Based Science Education programme is to arouse interest, encourage critical and creative thinking, and create the foundation for scientific study at the secondary level. The rationale is that science needs to be fun at primary school as this is the level at which students are given guidance about career choices. It’s hoped that more students choose science as a career option.

NCERD head, Roopnaraine Tiwari noted in the Guyana Times that the inquiry approach provides students with opportunities to learn by manipulating, investigating, and using their analytical skills instead of the “usual chalk and talk” approach to delivery. Each school is given science kits containing items that can facilitate experiments and other scientific tests.

Guyana is the second country after Chile to introduce this form of learning in the classroom. The four schools that were added to the list of schools in the second phase of the pilot are All Saints, BV Quamina, Skeldon, and Peter’s Hall primary schools. The first phase of the programme included seven schools.

Tiwani said that there is experimental evidence in support of the use of the inquiry- based approach in the teaching of science and other subject areas.