Sep 25, 2009 News
…seeks to improve teachers’ capabilities
In recognition of the fact that teachers are not utilising the teaching materials that are readily provided by the Ministry of Education, an exhibition has been opened in the auditorium of the National Centre for Education and Research Development (NCERD).
The elaborate exhibition which opened on Tuesday, is geared at improving teachers’ approach to the delivery of education even as education month is being observed.
The Ministry’s exhibition follows on the heels of another exhibition which was engaged on Monday by the NCERD library staff. Both exhibitions represent activities for Education Month which is currently being observed.
According to Head of the Ministry’s Learning Resources Development Unit, Mrs Rajwantie Permaul, the Ministry’s exhibition is mainly for teachers as some of them are not aware that the materials on exhibit are already available within the schools they teach.
“We are focusing this year on teachers so that they have an idea about the kinds of materials they have in the system and the kinds of materials they can reproduce to make learning more interesting.”
At NCERD, several teachers in training were keenly reviewing the exhibits, a development that was regarded as appropriate as it could help them when they enter the classroom, said Permaul. She noted that the exhibition is intended to furnish them with ideas of how to prepare and make their lessons attractive.
And because the exhibition is being presented by the Education Ministry, the various public institutions, including schools, the Carnegie School of Home Economics, NCERD, the Agriculture Unit and the Government Technical Institute all are involved.
“We have the exhibits in subject areas. We have all kinds of materials, some in game form to arouse the children’s curiosity and interest. We also have other styles of lessons delivery that teachers can utilise and improve their teaching capabilities.” And though the exhibition is dedicated to teachers, children are also very much invited, Permaul asserted.
It is her expectation that children will also be able to see the kinds of materials that are available and seek to question teachers about them. “All the materials we have on exhibit here we have made available to all of the schools in all of the regions. The only difference with some of them here, is that we have the solution but those in the schools do not have the solutions.”
Parents, she said, can also seek to obtain copies of the materials from the schools once they are available sums to further help their children at home. This move, she said is geared at helping to reduce the incidence of school dropouts.
“We have found, especially for boys, that if you don’t have interesting approaches for them they just lose interest in the school work and they don’t see schooling as essential.”
Following the exhibition, which is slated to come to an end on Friday, Permaul said that all of the materials will be combined and again be sent off to schools. She said that the Ministry would also dispatch monitoring teams to ensure that the materials are being utilised.
According to Permaul, who is also responsible for school libraries, she has visited a number of schools and found that materials sent out are still packed in the books in which they were dispatched.
“When I go to a region I take pictures and with a report I usually inform the Minister about what I find. The books and other materials are just piled up. The head teachers are not giving the materials to the teachers and the students…”
Permaul’s findings caused Minister of Education, Shaik Baksh, to recently announce his intent to sanction head teachers if their school libraries are not in an acceptable condition.
According to the Minister over the past year the Ministry through NCERD has been trying to resuscitate school libraries some of which are not in an acceptable state. “We have to do something about it…when we visit and see school libraries in disarray and not organised…We have even found cobweb in some school libraries.
“When we find these things the head teacher must be sanctioned.”
“This is part of the supervision of the school system; they are not taking the initiative. Some of them (head teachers) have undergone 18-month training courses in management I don’t know what they are doing with their knowledge. And when you go to the school it is another matter,” stressed the Minister.
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