– celebrates Education Month 2010
In recognition of the fact that there is a global demand for an improvement in the delivery of education, the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) yesterday held a forum under the theme “Expanding Horizons – One Team, One Goal, No Barrier”.
And according to CPCE’s Head of Department, Social Studies, Ms Paula Willis, the activity comes as part of the commemoration of Education Month, though belated. Education Month was observed last month under the theme ‘Child-friendly homes: child-friendly classrooms – quality education’.
The forum, which saw the attendance and participation of trainee teachers along with students from a number of schools, was geared at showcasing some aspects of the CPCE’s curricula. It was held in the auditorium of the College and attracted an audience which included several top education officials.
The aim of yesterday’s programme, Willis revealed, was to emphasise the need for change in an evolving world. “We are placing emphasis on developing reading and writing skills in our learners as well as inclusive education and the use of technology in the teaching-learning process.”
In addition, the forum sought to highlight in the attempt to practise inclusive education it has been recognised that more children with varying types of disabilities are involved in mainstream school and therefore need to be prepared to deal with the regular school system.
Yesterday’s event also included an exhibition which showcased how technology is being incorporated into the delivery of the core subject areas including Mathematics and Science. According to Willis every effort is being made to raise the standard as it relates to the delivery of education and CPCE will continue to be a frontrunner in this regard.
It was just recently, though, that Education Minister, Shaik Baksh, had asserted that there is an essential need for the upgrading of teacher educators even as efforts are made to improve the delivery of education.
According to the Minister there is nothing less than an urgent need for teacher educators to be upgraded, even as he speculated that “this is the weak link” that has been recognised.
The Ministry, he said, has in fact embarked on a reform agenda of teacher education and training in Guyana which is already in train.
This move, he disclosed, is poised to incorporate changes to the Board of the Training College to ensure that only quality persons are on board. According to the Minister it is clear that there is need to strengthen the management of the teachers college thus efforts must be made to ensure that the current managers are exposed to training programmes in the Caribbean.
And as part of the move to bring about a paradigm shift within the system the Minister disclosed that the Ministry will also seek to redesign the curriculum as part of the reform agenda. “By this I mean it is not about just filling the syllabus with information…
“We have to make that shift away from only knowledge to acquisition of information in the curriculum. In the secondary schools we know what is happening there; regurgitation – children are only cramming the curriculum and trying to pass examinations we have to move away from that,” he cautioned.
At the moment the Education Ministry is utilising the service of a specialist consultant who is helping to redesign the curriculum. At the same forum too, the Minister, had emphasised the importance of the role of teachers as change agents in the society.
According to him there is an urgent need for the role of teachers in the society to be restored, a feat which must start at the level of the Teachers Training College. “We have to ensure that it starts from the teachers college that what is taught here leaves an imprint on the minds of the teacher…They have to go out in the society as a whole as change agents.”
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