“Working with the internet is not prohibited, but neither is it mandatory.” This is what Minister Marie Levens of Education, Science and Culture (MinOWC) said today during a press conference via Zoom. She emphasized that excluding children because they do not have a smartphone is prohibited.
Since her appointment as education minister six months ago, she has never given instructions to work via the internet. Using this method would not only be too expensive for the parents, but often the infrastructure does not allow it. Not all parents and teachers have the necessary smartphones or laptops. This has been shown by an investigation by MinOWC itself.
There are also areas where there is no electricity, sometimes no clean drinking water. Levens further indicated that some areas in Suriname are well developed and other areas are not. Nevertheless, it is important that all children participate. The Ministry has therefore decided to work with printed material, radio and television programs. According to Levens, school leaders have the right to work with teachers to see how they can tackle the problem as it suits their neighborhood and district.
“No school is like another,” the minister stressed. The interior will also be reached in a different way. This week, the department management has a meeting with teachers from the interior, to further coordinate the progress of education in that area.