There is need for a paradigm shift around language learning in Guyana, Education Minister Nicolette Henry declared as she addressed the University of Guyana’s ‘Consultation on Enhancing Language Programmes’ on Monday.Participants of the consultation exercise pose for a photo opportunity with the Minister of Education, Hon. Nicolette Henry (seated eighth from right) and Vice-Chancellor of UG, Professor Ivelaw Griffith (seated fifth from left)Delivering the opening remarks in the Education Lecture Theatre on the Turkeyen Campus, the Minister said the University is well positioned to begin taking steps for that shift to take place, and this is a significant opportunity for Guyana to excel on the global stage.She said: “I believe that enhancing and developing the language programme at the University of Guyana with the introduction of four new languages is a commendable initiative and one that can add value to doing business on the global scale, as the ability to communicate in more than one language is often considered a competitive advantage when hiring new employees.”Minister Henry shared the view that enhancing and developing the Language Programme at the University would assist in supporting teachers pursuing foreign languages. She added that the Government of Guyana is fully committed to restoring languages to their rightful place in the school curriculum, to ensure that more children are able to access a high quality of learning.“I trust that when this programme is launched, teachers will be a main target group, because we want our children to become familiar with bilingualism from an early age,” Minister Henry said.The Department of Public Information (DPI) reported that, to create among children the interest to pursue foreign languages, Minister Henry has said that, at the level of the Ministry of Education, parents have to be engaged to act as advocates, so that they can motivate their children to learn foreign languages.Minister Henry told the gathering of stakeholders that she is encouraged to see the University of Guyana taking the initiative with the consultation to revitalise foreign language programmes in Guyana. She added that education is central to the ambitions of a nation, as it supports the development of a strong, growing economy while promoting a multicultural and inclusive society.The Education Minister also said language studies form a unique addition to a student’s university education, with the variety of teaching and learning techniques adding variety, balance or counter-balance to the education process.She said the education system must support learners of all ages to gain the skills and confidence to become global citizens, to understand other cultures and societies, as well as to develop the skills to function and thrive in the modern global economy.Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, said that if persons are to limit themselves linguistically, they would be limiting their world and the extent of their engagements and networking. He said, “We limit ourselves if we limit ourselves to English.”According to Vice-Chancellor Griffith, the consultation is a journey that is part of a broader project called the “UG Renaissance,” which is seeking to transform the University and bring it into the 21st Century.Dean of the Faculty of Education and Humanities, Claudette Austin, said the purposes and objectives of the consultation are: to address the framework for support of language development from primary through tertiary levels of education; design and develop the curricula for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dutch and Mandarin; design and develop a curriculum for English as a second language; and review and update the curricula for French, Spanish and Portuguese programmes. The consultation is also concerned with preparation of programme and requisite course outlines.
DONEGAL GAA is to send a resolution to Croke Park calling on the GAA President, Aogán Ó Fearghai, to retract recent comments ‘regarding the national anthem and the flag’.The call was made by Bundoran GAA delegate Michael McMahon at the County Convention in Donegal town.At the recent All-Stars trip in Dubai, Ó Fearghail said that the flying of the Irish tricolour and the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann could be reviewed in the future. The Cavan man appeared to row back on the comments last weekend when, speaking on RTÉ radio, he said: “A journalist at the interview simply asked me about that, and I said there was no issue with the flag flying around the world – the only place where it has ever caused some issues is back in our own country.“I was asked a further question from a journalist – ‘would the GAA change its position at home regarding flying the flag and playing the anthem?’“I replied we wouldn’t, that it was very much part and parcel of our culture, was very much valued by us and that it was a key part of our heritage and it will remain.”The initial comments of the GAA’s top official in Dubai sparked widespread debate and McMahon, a former Sinn Féin Town Councillor in Bundoran, proposed that Donegal deliver a resolution to Croke Park on what he called ‘offensive’ remarks. The proposal from McMahon was seconded by Robert Emmets delegate Gerry Rush.“He made statements that weren’t with the GAA in the context of the flag,” Mr McMahon said.“It is a very serious situation. We shouldn’t be spellbound by what he said. He said something serious and derogatory, which could have serious effect to our culture as a country.“We should send a resolution to say that this is unanimous. We need to confirm this.“It is important to the Association and to the people in this country. It is not asking too much. “The emigrants of this country were very upset by the Uachtarán’s comments. The anthem and the flag are pure to us. We need to send a message that no way should the flag or the anthem be interfered with.”Two leading Donegal County Board officials – Chairman Sean Dunnion and outgoing Chilren’s Officer Mick McGrath – defended the GAA President and claimed he had been ‘misquoted’ in Dubai.Mr Dunnion said: “I want to defend the Uachtarán. I spoke to him. He was misquoted in Dubai as to what he was saying. He has given the clarification.“There is no threat to the anthem or flag as far as we are concerned.” Club delegate hits out at GAA President’s ‘serious and derogatory’ remarks was last modified: December 11th, 2016 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Aogán Ó FearghailbundoranDonegal GAAMichael McMahonSean Dunnion