Retired University of Guyana engineering, drafting and design professor Andy Moore, who for several years was one of the nation’s foremost industrial arts professors, told Stabroek Business that ‘given what appears to be the trajectory of the country’s development goal, what he sees as a decline in the emphasis on technical drawing in the school curriculum could come back to haunt us “in a big way”. once we have started “what we imagine to be a major infrastructure development program to support our broader ambitions as a nation.”
“It was a mistake to reduce the emphasis on technical drawing in the first place and what is important is that we return the discipline to its rightful place with great haste. We are now in a situation where we are must take corrective action with great haste. In fact, many of the critical infrastructure requirements that will be required in an oil and gas economy will need to be based on technical drawing skills, ”added Moore.
And according to Moore, rhetoric about developing the country’s education system “at the policy-making level” must pay much greater attention to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programs “by creating the infrastructure and facilities necessary to create an enabling environment for effective teaching and learning of TVET subjects, in particular technical drawing as a key to technological breakthrough.
Claiming that there are “many studies” available for Guyana that address the roles of training and the acquisition and effective use of skills related to economic growth, Moore told Stabroek Business that he is It is high time that the country’s educational planners “wake up and smell the coffee. The need for this change in curriculum design is related to the fact that the disciplines of science, technology and engineering “Continue to make important contributions in the areas of economic growth and the creation of modern facilities and services. Frankly, we must, for our own good, move away from what over the years has been a separation of much of what is thought in the classroom from the real world situation that has to do with national development, ”Moore told Stabroek Business.
According to Moore, it is not inconceivable that the lack of a solid understanding of the relevance of a subject like technical drawing “is due to the fact that he never really enjoys a proper explanation regarding his meaning of purpose in the larger scheme of things. “Claiming that many children, mainly boys, who did technical drawing in school a few years ago did so only because” it was a subject of program, ”Moore said that, as many students saw,“ there were few places to go with a one-skill qualification ”in technical drawing.
“The real truth is that technical drawing as a subject taught in schools must be followed by a curriculum that addresses the broader spectrum of technical drawing. Since, for example, construction-related subjects all have a technical drawing dimension, then the subject [Technical Drawing] itself will have direct relevance if taught alongside other technical subjects. If it is offered in isolation, the question of its broader professional relevance becomes an issue, ”he explained.
Expanding on the question of relevance, the former speaker said that technical drawing is “an absolutely essential form of technological and technical communication in the fields of science, technology, industry and vocations”. Technical drawing, he added, “allows engineers to create designs and calculate stresses in structures. In the absence of technical drawings, the whole field of engineering would have been an area of constant risk and danger resulting from guesswork. “
Moore, who holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts in Industrial Arts and Vocational Education respectively from the University of Alabama, told Stabroek Business that there is no need to “research too carefully ”Guyana’s probable development trajectory to determine why we must accelerate the teaching and learning of Technical Drawing in our schools.
“Much of what we will do in the coming period will focus on creating structures… roads, bridges, factories, office buildings, hotels… Technical drawing. When you compare this reality to what is happening in our schools, I wouldn’t say we are in a comfortable place. It is important to rethink the place of technical drawing in the school curriculum.
And according to Moore, even as the need to integrate technical drawing into the school curriculum in a “comprehensive and holistic” manner becomes more evident, the challenges of effective subject teaching also emerge. “We have serious constraints, including a lack of qualified technical drawing teachers. This problem affects all disciplines of TVET. We need to start training these people now, because meaningful development can only take place if we make a serious effort to have a skilled workforce in various fields.
Meanwhile, he says he has “some problems” with the retention of traditional teaching methods as he observes that “science and technology are continually evolving and developing with respect to new discoveries and designs. It’s pretty much the same with technical drawing which has moved from manual design to computer aided design. This means that the teaching and learning of technical drawing must also move from the traditional teaching method to contemporary teaching methods, including the application of computer software.
Moore says he believes the rising costs of adequate equipment and materials are also likely an inhibiting factor in the teaching of technical drawing. “I am particularly concerned about the high costs in areas that could be described as ‘consumable training material’, including drawing boards, drawing equipment, computers, software, instructional drawings, facilities. Internet and textbooks which have become quite expensive. “