AN electronic platform created and launched by the Ministry of Education will now afford learners the opportunity to have somewhat of a precursor to examinations, as the system allows them to access a plethora of multiple-choice “exam quality” questions. The “Quiz Me Platform,” was launched officially on Tuesday in the Smart Room of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD). The platform can be accessed on the ministry’s website at: www.education.gov.gy/quizme.
Currently, the platform caters to Grade Six pupils and contains questions for the four core subject areas: Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and English.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, while addressing persons at the launch of the platform, said the idea of creating such a system stemmed from one of the issues encountered during the distribution of answer sheets. The Quiz Me Platform is a direct response to that issue.
In explaining how the system works, Minister Manickchand said a pupil completes a quiz on the website, their answers are marked within seconds of submission, then pupils are shown which questions they answered correctly and in cases where they provided the incorrect answer, the platform indicates which option is the correct answer.
The minister further explained that the idea behind the platform is not new but was conceptualised in 2014 when the ministry had launched its website. However, following the change of government the following year, nothing was done to have the platform established. She said that outside of providing as many resources as possible at the click of a button, the website was intended to provide a testing platform whereby learners can practice exam-type questions. She said that the failure of the ministry to not establish the platform is due to the lack of political will that existed over the past five years.
She said: “Nothing happened from 2015 to now. We haven’t changed staff. The same professionals and experts that are bringing you this here were in the ministry for those five years. The same professionals writing the questions existed. They were available to this ministry. What the ministry did not have was the political will to do any of these. That is the danger of having people at the helm who have no vision and no interest in service.” Minister Manickchand said that the platform, as it is now, has just under 50 quizzes, mostly for Grade Six pupils because that is a priority class at this time due to their National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) scheduled to be written in August 2021.
However, the Education Minister noted that the platform will be adjusted soon to include quizzes for pupils from Grades One to 12. She also said that as the platform is being developed, the intention is to allow pupils to even be tested on specific topics so that parents can know the strength of their child in specific areas.
Minister Manickchand reminded persons that accessing the ministry’s website and its contents are ‘zero rated’ by the major internet providers in Guyana, GTT and Digicel. This means that Guyanese, regardless of location, can access the ministry’s website and (a) not use up data from their internet plan or (b) do not need an active data plan to access the website. However, if persons are using a cellular phone, they must have the requisite access point settings on their device. This was made possible through a partnership between the ministry and the aforementioned companies to ensure all of Guyana can access the necessary educational resources especially during this time when online learning is essential.
Giving an overview of the platform on Tuesday, Head of Information Systems at the Ministry of Education, Phil Mingo, said that just over a few months ago Minister Manickchand challenged the team to utilise technology to better aid education delivery and pupils’ preparedness for examinations, especially considering the restrictions parents and pupils face because of the pandemic.
He said that considering the various types of devices used by pupils, teachers and parents, the platform was designed to be very responsive.
“This meant that it does not matter whether the end-user has a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop – old or new, with the access to the Internet, the QuizMe platform can still be used and responds appropriately to the type of devices used. This is also important for users who may have some level of visual impairment,” Mingo noted.
Mingo added that though the platform offers multiple-choice questions now, other formats of questioning will be added soon.
He said that the platform will help all learners from private and public schools respond to exam-type questions while they are in the comfort of their homes, anywhere in Guyana. (Ministry of Education)