FORMER education minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh says the Prime Minister must be secretly admitting the worse mistake the PNM made was to scrap the UNC’s laptop programme.
He was speaking Monday night on the UNC virtual report.
Gopeesingh said, with covid19 the country has been plunged into an education crisis and one that has exacerbated the widespread inequality in the education system. Gopeesingh said thousands of students were at home with no information technology instrument and were being left out.
He questioned whether the “willy nilly” scrapping of the schools laptop programme was done out of sheer spite, naked political expediency or just ignorance. He said the current online teaching system is rushed, haphazard and chaotic mere weeks into the school term and is unacceptable. He added, however, the UNC laptop programme would have made the current situation better but its scrapping set the country’s education agenda and hurt student learning.
Gopeesingh said the current education minister was now going “cap in hand” begging sponsors for laptops and he questioned where the figure of 65,000 came from. He also questioned how many schools and students were involved in online learning, how many teachers were involved and for how long per day.
He said it is time for the Government to meet with the Opposition and other education stakeholders in bipartisan talks. Gopeesingh noted it was his first public appearance since his covid19 hospitalisation. He thanked everyone for wishing him a speedy recovery and thanked God for his health. “Please protect yourselves and your families from this deadly virus.”