Diocesan office offers English classes for migrant children

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Diocesan office offers English classes for migrant children


For the past few years, the Georgetown Diocese has been providing free English language classes to migrants. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, these classes were paused for a while, and when they resumed, the teaching was totally online.

“While the online language classes work well for adults, it has been found that children learn better in person,” according to a Catholic Standard report.

The diocesan weekly stated that many migrant children have been suffering educationally since the beginning of the pandemic and many of them are limited in their ability to follow the public educational curriculum (via internet, television, and newspapers) since their native language is Spanish.

“With this in mind, the Migrant Office of the Roman Catholic Church in Guyana is running a pilot English as a Second Language (ESL) programme —following strict Covid guidelines—at the Catholic Life Centre, Brickdam.”

The article stated that the 10–week programme, which began in May, consists of twice weekly sessions. It explained that in order to observe proper Covid guidelines, the pilot programme is limited in scale, with 12 children (from five families) enrolled.

The pupils are between seven to 15 years of age. Sessions are conducted by a Venezuelan-trained bilingual, qualified teacher.

This programme teaching Basic English is the first module of a three-part ESL course, the other two being Intermediate English and Advanced English.

Catholic Standard reported that the diocese has been active since 2017 in helping Venezuelans who have come to Guyana because of their socio-economic situation.

In partnership with various agencies, the Church is involved in different programmes. With the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the Church is providing temporary shelter for migrant families that were at risk of or are victims of gender-based violence, food and in other areas of need.

The office, under the name: Catholic Charities Guyana – Migrant Support, continues to offer support in many ways including  application for extension of stay which includes translation services, integration into society—for example with guidance on employment and provisional registration of children in schools and with civil documents.

Through the office, assistance has been offered in other ways depending on the particular situation.

“Various parishes, priests, religious sisters and volunteers of the Catholic network have been instrumental in the execution of these projects and the response to the needs of our brothers and sisters,” the article mentioned.

Persons are invited to play a more integral role in the Church’s efforts by getting involved or by donating in cash or kind by contacting the Bishop’s Office.