Although 14 teacher training centres were established in nine of the 10 Administrative Regions to complement the work of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), Principal of the institution, Viola Rowe, is adamant that some of these centres are currently not active.
Her disclosure was forthcoming even as she presented the Principal’s Report at the 79th Graduation ceremony on Thursday last at the National Cultural Centre.
Formal initial teacher training commenced in Guyana in 1928 and according to Rowe, over the past eight decades, the institution experienced many transformations including changes in governance structure and curriculum offerings.
But it was in the quest to demonstrate, “our values of social justice and equity of access, the institution moved from (being) a one centre location…” Rowe explained.
However, during the past year of teachers’ training, a period spanning September 2012 through August 2013, the Principal disclosed that not all satellite centres were active. She noted though that “with our commitment to providing access and our determination to improving the quality of teacher education, it might become necessary to revive some of those centres.”
But on the other hand, Rowe said that some active centres could become inactive and new training locations identified to realise greater results. This potential move was emphasised even as she insisted that the institution remains committed to preparing men and women from all Regions of the country for formal entry into Guyana’s teaching profession.
Rowe in her presentation, disclosed that, “we are confident that our graduates are capable of providing high quality instruction to students in urban and rural classrooms of Guyana, contributing to the national development goal of having a competent citizen.”
During the past year, the College offered the Associate Degree in Education, the Trained Teacher’s Certificate and the Teacher Upgrading programmes, Rowe disclosed.
In her presentation she was vocal in pointing out that although the institution continued to prepare teachers for the 21st Century classroom, “we saw the absence of technology support in some of the schools to which trainee-teachers were attached for their practicum stints as inhibiting the institution’s programme.”
Rowe informed too that some students found the lack of such support frustrating because, among other reasons, they did not have the opportunity to incorporate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching/learning situation. However, she insisted that the ongoing process by the Ministry of Education to equip all schools with ICT laboratories will certainly go a long way in addressing this issue.
Another challenge that was faced during the past year, Rowe said, was the difficulty faced by the institution to get ‘buy-in’ from some stakeholders in relation to the attendance criteria for examinations, and certification for a pass based on the CPCE Regulation of 2010.
Moreover, Rowe noted that some students did not meet either or both standards and in keeping with the Regulations, they withdrew from College.
And although there were some other challenges in producing the graduates this year, ranging from inadequate supervision to unfavourable physical conditions for resident students, Rowe did note that there were some very notable successes.
According to her, there were, for instance, several successes under the Guyana Improving Teacher Education Project, which is aimed at reducing the length of teachers’ training.
These were realised even as the College continued to work diligently to ensure that “we graduate students who show high degrees of intellectual and psychological maturity and demonstrate the commitment and dedication required by teachers to improve the quality of performance of students in our school,” Rowe announced.
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