PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo, yesterday, at State House on Main Street, Georgetown, started the much-touted Guyana Chronicle’s Master Mind Quiz, an innovative and interactive online forum targeting primary schoolchildren preparing for the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).
Interacting with some of the target group, from schools in Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica), he assured them of his commitment to the success of the venture.
The President also congratulated the Guyana Chronicle and those who worked on developing what he called “this very wonderful programme” and said it is going to make a big difference for children.
President Jagdeo singled out for special praise Chronicle’s Chairman Mr. Keith Burrowes, whose brainchild it was behind the setting-up of such a wonderful and very interactive online initiative.
The Guyanese Head of State observed that, as the world changes, greater demands are being made on the knowledge-based sectors and Guyana has to prepare itself to operate in such an economy.
“We have been investing in education, not only in a routine way for the development of the country but because the world today values knowledge based sectors,” he said.
Mr. Jagdeo pointed out that Guyana has made several strides in developing the infrastructure to ensure that each Guyanese is prepared for it and he lauded the contribution that the Chronicle’s Quiz Corner will make, as an element of it.
According to him, the country needs methods of delivery that will reach more people with quality service.
The President said the Government’s commitment to realising the goal of preparing for the knowledge based sectors is clearly evidenced by the introduction of a new learning channel, the Education Television Broadcasting Service (ETBS), a major move by the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) and the One Laptop per Family project.
With those and the input of all stakeholders, from both public and private sectors, Mr. Jagdeo said a modern state-of-the-art Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure will be realised.
“In five years time, we are working to have every Guyanese computer literate,” he said.
President Jagdeo reiterated that the Quiz Corner will make a big difference for not only primary schoolchildren but older ones, as well as adults.
Referring to the interactive nature of the website, he said it would foster a sort of friendly competitiveness and expand the participants’ knowledge base at the same time.
“This kind of competition breeds entrepreneurial behaviour. We lost a class of entrepreneurs when we pursued a different path in the past. We need to rebuild that class of entrepreneurs,” President Jagdeo said.
Education Minister Mr. Shaik Baksh, who was also present at the launch, said his ministry is fully supportive of the venture and suggested that, in time, the site’s content will be expanded to reach grades two and four.
“This will help improve results in the key areas of English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies,” he posited.
Baksh added that the Chronicle’s Master Mind Quiz Corner will bolster the efforts being made in the Education Sector.
The brainchild of the programme, Mr. Keith Burrowes, who is also Chairman of Guyana National Newspapers Limited (GNNL), publishers of the Daily and Sunday Chronicle newspaper, disclosed that the Master Mind Quiz programme has been two years in the making.
Mr. Burrowes, in giving a brief background into the programme, expressed his appreciation to all contributors, in particular GX Media, which spearheaded its development.
He noted that Chronicle’s Master Mind Quiz is an online game, which is both educational and fun. It was designed for children up to 12 years old.
These pupils are eligible to compete by securing a copy of the Guyana Chronicle, filling out the coupon and forwarding it. The entry forms can be sent either directly to the Chronicle headquarters in Lama Avenue, Bal Air Park or through the respective schools but with the written consent of parents/guardians.
Once received by the sponsors, an account will be created and the player will then be contacted. Players will earn points, with each correctly answered question being worth a point.
The competitors will be given 60 questions to answer every day and, to date, 2,000 questions have been developed with the support of NCERD.
At the end of every quarter, those competing will have their scores tallied and the highest scorers would win prizes.
One of the more attractive features on the website is the homework helper, through which children are able to post challenging questions online and receive feedback from other contestants.
Already 50 children are making use of the Master Mind and Quiz Corner for fun, learning and making friends.
The vision behind the contest is to stimulate thinking, encourage and challenge contestants, evaluate and offer general practice in the subjects of English, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Social Studies and General Knowledge.
Through this undertaking, more children are expected to be educated about Guyana and current events, enhance their computer and creative skills, be exposed to culturally appropriate alternative online activities and develop healthy life skills.
*** PULL QUOTE:
Brainchild of the programme, Mr. Keith Burrowes, who is also Chairman of Guyana National Newspapers Limited (GNNL), publishers of the Daily and Sunday Chronicle newspaper, disclosed that the Master Mind Quiz programme has been two years in the making.