It was Duviena Badray of the Region Two Anna Regina Satellite Centre who was named the overall top performer when the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) convened its 80th Graduation Ceremony at the National Cultural Centre yesterday.
Badray was able to outperform her colleagues in order to be duly rewarded with the Prime Minister’s Prize as the Best Overall Graduating Student. She also won the Vice Principal’s (Development) Prize for being the Best Overall Graduating Student in the Distance Education Primary Programme and the Chief Education Officer’s Prize for being the Best Overall Graduating Student in the Distance Education Programme in Teaching Practice.
She however was not the only one in the limelight yesterday as there were a number of others who were presented with prizes for their respective performances in specific subject areas.
Awards were also presented under the Guyana Improving Teacher Education Programme (GITEP). Aside from Badray, who was understandably the most outstanding graduating student of Region Two, the other outstanding students for the respective Regions were: Loiselle Robinson (Region One), Anyanna Peters (Region Three), Muneshwar Baskaran (Region Four), Livia Stacy Gentle (Region Five), Shemane Kendra Caesar (Region Six), Sylvester Tobin (Region Seven), Floyd Rodrigues (Region Nine) and Clair Ramessar (Region 10).
Yesterday’s award ceremony was held under the theme “21st Century Pedagogical Transformers” and as usual the males graduating were significantly outnumbered by their female counterparts.
In addition to its Turkeyen Campus, CPCE has Satellite Centres at Mabaruma, Moruca and Port Kaituma, Anna Regina, Vreed-en-Hoop, Georgetown, New Amsterdam and Rose Hall, Mahdia, Annai, Aishalton and Lethem and at Linden.
The graduates together pursued programmes in three categories: the Associate Degree in Education, the Trained Teachers Certificate and the Teacher Upgrading programmes.
And according to CPCE Principal, Viola Rowe, as she presented the Principal’s Report, the teacher training institution is poised to contribute a total of 359 graduates to the education system. Of the total graduates 50 are trained to cater to the Early Childhood Education level, 120 are trained to offer Primary level Education, and 189 are trained to deliver Secondary Education.
But training these individuals was certainly not without some challenges as, according to Rowe, recruiting of part-time staff, with the right skills mix to supervise students on their in-school practicum attachment, was in fact a challenge faced. This, she said, resulted in full-time staffers having to facilitate in this regard in order to compensate for the shortfall.
However, Rowe noted that unlike the experience in the previous reporting period where several classes were left unattended, such incidents subsequently were in fact minimal. She attributed this “to effective timetabling and improved departmental management by section heads and coordinators.”
However another challenge that surfaced during the reporting period was that of a difficulty to recruit qualified and experienced staff to facilitate in the areas of Visual Arts, Music and Information and Communication Technology.
“Consequently, we were unable to offer those disciplines as specialization (areas). Nevertheless all students benefited from general course offerings in those areas,” said Rowe as she emphasized that there were successes realized under the GITEP Programme.
But according to her too, the College continued to work diligently to ensure that “we graduate students who are not only intellectually, psychologically and professionally prepared for their role in society, but graduates who understand their moral responsibility for the learners with whom they interact.”
And as was emphasized by Rowe at the previous graduation ceremony, the institution has recognised the importance of ensuring that organisational practices and processes are in congruence with professional teaching standards.
According to her, “it is obvious that our students are expected to work in accordance with set academic standards. However, we are cognisant of the need for us as administrators, managers, lecturers, practicum supervisors, cooperating teachers, support staff and all other categories of College workers to also conform to professional work standards.”
With such a tactic in place, Rowe is confident that that would bring the much needed synergy for improved organisational growth and development.
Delivering a feature address and charge to the graduates yesterday was Former Chief Education Officer, Ed Caesar, who emphasized that “we are celebrating success…” During his remarks, he pointed out that it was Martin Luther King who said “if you can’t fly then run; if you can’t run then walk; if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
And according to Caesar, the theme of the graduation ceremony alone amplifies that CPCE is already on a mission to move forward.
“It intends to improve its practice; the College intends to provide the nation with efficient and effective moulders of our youths. We must congratulate the College,” Caesar stressed, even as he urged the graduates to practice what they were taught and even improve on what they have learnt. He also charged the graduates to establish good relationships with other teachers and refrain from becoming lackadaisical in their profession.
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