DCEO underscores importance of maximizing use of new technologies at inaugural AI4 Education Conference

4/29/20244 min read

Kaieteur News – Deputy Chief Education Officer (DCEO) Dr. Ritesh Tularam has underscored the importance of embracing the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a world that is rapidly exploring the benefits of the new technology. Dr. Tularam was at the time addressing the opening of the inaugural CaribbeanAI4Education conference held at the Princess Ramada Hotel, Providence East Bank Demerara.

The two-day forum hosted by Camille’s Academy Inc. (CAI) engaged teachers and students from both public and private schools in Guyana as well as private sector representatives on the topic of maximizing the benefits AI.

The meetings were sponsored by Camille Academy in association with Georgetown Investment & Management Service, Princess Ramada Hotel, Silvie’s Industrial Solutions, Starr Computers, Office of the Prime Minister, A. Ally and sons-bronze sponsor, JSB Investment, Lead2Influence-bronze, Autoport Guyana, 401 Furniture store, Nexus hub Inc, Cerulean Inc, Styles Guyana, Gupta groups-, Fitness Express.

Deputy Chief Education Officer (DCEO) Dr. Ritesh Tularam

Participants of the conference were treated to introductory courses and interactive sessions on the uses of various AI tools will help make the learning and teaching experiences simpler and less time-consuming. Speaking to a room full of teachers on day one of the conference, the DCEO emphasized the importance of investing in forums that will prepare people, particularly students to remain relevant in an AI-inclusive world. “I want to congratulate Camille’s Academy a leading private school in this country for taking on this very important initiative. That is to bring to us here in Guyana a two days engagement on this very important topic,” Dr. Tularam said. He noted that in a world where technology is rapidly developing, people in the countries must be trained to ensure that they remain upskilled and on par with the developed world.

“We are living in an existing ethos that is considered the 4th industrial revolution…Now what does that mean; of course as a country, we are on the verge of development. We would have seen the significant transformation enveloping our society in the respective spaces…As a country that is now positioning itself to be categorized as a developed nation, technology plays a pivotal role in Guyana’s upward incline,” the DCEO asserted.

He explained that Guyana has already been exposed to faucets of AI. “As it relates to AI, there are things such as augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics, cloud management and data, BIT data analytics…I can safely say that here in Guyana we have moved to engage augmented reality in our secondary and tertiary institutions. The next step is ensuring that persons learn its correct usage and how to maximize it…”Dr. Tularam said.

He continued “I know a lot of us have smart watches. The internet of things work in such a manner that I can connect to my doctor information right at my fingertips…I don’t have to go there physically and be in a waiting room…The use of this technology can save your time and money.”

Additionally, the DCEO stressed that embracing the use of AI is important to ensure that Guyanese workforce is on par with the rest of the globe. Dr. Tularam said “We have to ensure that we are relevant, current, of course marketable …It means that persons that are responsible for the future they, themselves ought to be exposed to what these realities in a way which makes our skills transferrable in the developed world.”

“We will have to ensure that we upskill and reskill them to ensure that the technology that is available to us is used in a manner that makes our work more efficient and provides an opportunity for our graduates to be transferable in what is the novice world of technology,” he added. In this regard, Dr. Tularam said that the focus is on educators to keep them abreast with the technologies. He explained that such technologies should have an impact in schools particularly in terms of developing teachers’ pedagogical practice. “It might be true that the uses of artificial intelligence in around classroom may have the capacity to bring real benefits to teachers and students…We see tremendous promises in AI and its usability to educators around the world and here in Guyana” “We need to reorient our energies to ensure that our administrative task towards accelerating students growth and learning thus making teaching more fulfilling, interactive purposeful and even more worthwhile.”

As such, the DCEO noted that AI usage should benefit teachers and students throughout the length and breadth of Guyana. “It want to ensure that the people in Regions One, Seven, Eight, and Nine that they have equal access to whatever we are doing …”

He urged stakeholders to explore ways to collaborate and network for effective training in the usage of AI. “Invest in digital and AI literacy to mitigate the growing digital divide…Support teachers to access and apply technologies to reduce administrative burdens and provide more time for personalized learning by providing open access resources by providing collaborative spaces to help them integrate AI in the work,” the DCEO said.

Camille Deokie-Gorakh, CEO of Camille’s Academy shared a similar view. Deokie-Gorakh said that the intention of the conference was to expose teachers and students in Guyana to the benefits of the technology. “There are hosts of benefits that this technology can bring to the education sector in Guyana so after having my teachers introduced and trained in the use of AI…I started looking for ways to collaborate because my main concern was how I can bring this very useful tool to the rest of the education sector…And so I decided to invest in hosting the first AI conference to along with the help of a few generous stakeholders and sponsors I was able to bring make the conference a reality.” The CEO said that AI4educationconference is just the beginning in the list of planned undertakings, the private school plans to bring to the education sector in Guyana.