UG Press Launches First of its Kind Geography School-Based Assessment Handbook Aimed at Raising the Bar on SBAs and Student Research in General

8th November, 2022 0 comments


University of Guyana / Greater Georgetown / Guyana / Tuesday, November 8, 2022 

UG Press Launches First of its Kind Geography School-Based Assessment  Handbook Aimed at Raising the Bar on SBAs and Student Research in  General  

The University of Guyana Press (UGP) recently launched the first of its kind ‘A Guide to  the Principles and Practices of the Geography School-Based Assessment’ now providing  Caribbean Secondary Education Council (CSEC) and other students the opportunity to be  exposed to step by step guidelines in producing high-quality research projects.  

The book which was launched at the George Walcott Lecture Theatre, Turkeyen Campus is intended to be used as an up-to-date resource material and a self-study guide that  details in a very clear-cut and straightforward manner the requirements for the Caribbean  Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) students to successfully complete the SBA and  to optimize the scores/marks earned for it. The book is also designed to assist the teachers  of the subject to provide the necessary guidance to the students. 

Author Ms Linda Johnson-Bhola, UG’s Head of Department for Geography and Lecturer  in the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences (FEES) said that the idea of preparing  the book came as a result of her years involved in teaching Geography at the secondary  school and university levels, examining SBAs and observing the difficulties and many  missteps encountered by students undertaking field-based work.  

Ms Johnson-Bhola provided a detailed overview of the book. In her overview, she outlined  the three sections in which the book is divided into. These are: 

Section 1: Getting Started with the SBA  

This section introduces the readers to getting their SBAs done and outlines the aim and  objectives, coursework requirements, general guidelines, and reasons for conducting the  SBA. 

Section 2: Explaining the four stages of the SBA preparation

Stage 1: Planning and Preparation

At this stage, the students learn to prepare a structure to guide them as they prepare for  fieldwork. This stage sets the tone for all that needs to be done from the beginning to the  end of the SBA and this includes choosing a topic, selecting a title, formulating the aims or research questions, identifying the study location, identifying the data collection  techniques, designing the data collection instruments, and selecting the appropriate  tools/equipment to use.  

Stage 2: Data Collection 

This stage prepares the students to learn how to apply the various methods and  techniques outlined in the previous stage. They will learn to do field sketching from  observing the features being studied, administer questionnaires, and conduct interviews,  undertake field measurements and address challenges that might be encountered while  conducting the fieldwork. 

Stage 3: Data analysis and Discussion 

For this stage, students will learn how to organise, present and communicate the data  collected in stage 2. Here they will learn about the different illustrations (tables, graphs,  charts, photographs) that can be used to present the data collected in the field and how  these can be integrated in the discussion, how to avoid plagiarism, and citing and  referencing the information obtained from textbooks and other secondary sources as well. Stage 4: Preparing the SBA Report 

This stage provides details about the format of the SBA Report. This information is  provided in the syllabus and students are urged to go through this document carefully and  use the guidelines provided to ensure that all of the information provided in the report  preparation is followed. 

Section Three: Presenting SBA Samples 

The final section of the book presents two samples of SBA. There is also a glossary of some  key terms used in the book. 

In giving brief remarks, the University of Guyana’s Vice-Chancellor, XI, Prof. Paloma  Mohamed Martin, commended the author on her excellent work and for working along  with the UG Press to have the book published, noting that it will transcend through  seasons and times in the area of geography for Guyana and the Caribbean.  

The Vice-Chancellor expressed that the University of Guyana is an engine of growth and  direction for the entire country. “UG’s 2040 Blueprint allows us to be a model for the nation, and this is not only for how we behave but for what we produce and what we  publish,” the VC noted. 

Further, the VC highlighted: “I am sure the panel on the CSEC Geography Board will be  very delighted to know that there is now a publication from the University of Guyana  about how to prepare good passing SBAs.” 

Senior Publication Officer, UG Press, Ms Melissa Bess in giving her remarks expressed:  “This book is without a doubt, a treasure of a compilation. It will benefit not only  Guyanese students but students across the region who wish to excel.” 

Chair of the UG Press, Editorial Board, Prof. George Ken Danns also echoed his  congratulations to Mrs Johnson-Bhola upon seeing this phenomenal book come to  fruition. 

Prof. Danns noted that the book has immense practical benefits for students in Guyana  and the rest of the Caribbean, especially for students who are doing CSEC.  

Lecturer at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, St. Lucia, Mr Alexis Hubson  provided an excellent review of the book which was read by Ms Shundell Durant. 

According to Mr Hubson, the book is a crucial and refreshing addition to the compendium  of CSEC Geography resources. “For over a generation, examiners, educators, and students  have grappled with the notion of what constitutes a good SBA. This book will solve this  apparent mystery in a subtle but elegant way. It offers a very lucid comprehensive  practical guide on how to undertake Geography School-Based Assessments.” 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Institutional Advancement, Dr Mellissa Ifill in her brief remarks  commended the author for plugging a very important gap that exists in our regional  textbook offerings especially when it comes to the school-based assessment for  Geography. 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor posited: “This guide will not just be important for Geography  students but for research in general for students, especially the first two sections of the  book that deal with research design and data collection methods.” 

Dean of the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Dr Temitope Oyedotun provided a profound and encouraging vote of thanks while UG’s Public Relations Officer,  Ms Krest Cummings eloquently chaired the programme. 

You can purchase a copy of the book at the University of Guyana Campus Store (Turkeyen  Campus) and New Era Book and Gift shop (Courtyard Mall, Robb Street, Georgetown) for  $2,500. Please contact the UG’s Campus Store on 620-2865 or via email and New Era Book and Gift shop on 618-2967. 

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The University of Guyana, now in its 59th year, was founded in October 1963. “UG” as it is fondly referred to offers 150 programmes in over 60 disciplines in online, face-to-face or blended formats. UG delivers in a Guyana-based system across eight campuses. It is the largest, oldest, most advanced and only state University in Guyana with a student population of over 10,000. “UG” has provided education, training and research for over 50,000 alumni over its 59-year history. UG’s national and global impact and footprint are significant. Its graduates have risen to populate the commanding heights of national, regional and international organisations of repute in over 150 different disciplines. The mission of the University is to discover, generate, disseminate and apply knowledge of the highest standard for the service of the community, the nation, and all mankind within an atmosphere of academic freedom, innovation and universal respect.

UG's forward-thinking Blueprint 2040 is currently setting the course for the University's future design and institutional response to the changing needs of Guyana, the region and the world. UG will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2023 and is stepping up its focus on becoming one of the leading and most sought-after educational institutions in the world for both staff and students.


Ms. Krest Cummings

Public Relations Officer

Department of Events Conferences and Communications (DECC)


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