With 88 percent females and 12 percent males, the Cyril Potter College of Education [CPCE] yesterday graduated 468 teachers who will serve to considerably augment the teaching capacity of the public education sector.
At a ceremony at the National Cultural Centre, attended by President David Granger and many senior education officials, the performances of the graduates were disclosed by CPCE Principal, Ms. Viola Rowe.
According to Rowe, the majority of the graduates (178) were trained in the area of Secondary Education. Those trained in Primary Education amounted to 164, while those trained in Early Childhood Education accounted for 126.
Rowe reported that in relation to the Associate Degree in Education [ADE] programme, 36 students passed with distinction and 423 passed with credit. In the Trained Teacher’s Certificate programme, three students passed with credit.
Rowe explained that to earn a distinction, a student must have earned at least 80 percent at the final teaching practice as well as in the overall performance in other courses.
Claiming the best graduating title this year is Ms. Nirupa Manroop, of Rose Hall Secondary. Manroop, who specialised in English, was the recipient of four Presidential Awards.
Among her awards were: a shield, a certificate of excellence signed by President Granger and Principal Rowe, a gift voucher valued at $20,000 and a laptop and printer.
Also eligible for a laptop and printer were the other outstanding performing students including Abigail Anderson, Altia Nicola Chester, Anna Dwarka, Annlisa Baldeo, Annalisa Baird, Bibi Outar, Candacy Damond-Bess, Carletta Johnson, Chandrani Narshing, Dasia Carmichael, Demetria Warner, Devika Singh, Devika Hiralal, Jairam Singh, Jewelle Milling, Leena Doodnauth, Lelawattie Singh, Lokaya Wrights, Melody Yaw, Naomi Abrahams, Naudia Fraser, Nehemiah Small, Orletta John, Rashell WOolford, Rehanna Hussain, Rosanna Charran, Shefane Boyce, Sheliza Pile, Tamara Smith, Tara Walter, Thavita Persaud, Yogeeta Singh, Yokevia Hinckson, Zaun Peterkin and Zulaika Sahdeo.
Although elated by the outstanding performances, Rowe noted that “while we celebrate the hard work of our students, tutors and lecturers, our records for the reporting period show that only 87 percent of our centres that offered the ADE programme during the reporting period registered at least one distinction compared to 100 percent in the last reporting period”.
For this reason, Rowe noted, “we are certainly not comfortable with this decrease and would acknowledge that while individual brilliance or the outstanding performance of any one centre is commendable, the desired result is the outstanding performance of the institution.”
As he delivered remarks yesterday, President Granger described the ceremony as one of the most important national events. This is in light of the fact, he noted, that “it closes one chapter of tutelage and opens another of tuition. It closes the door to the College behind you, but it opens many more doors in many of the schools around the country where you will practice your profession in years to come.”
But according to the President in a light-hearted tone, “My personal wish, if not my belief, is that someday I would see that you would have changed these grey gowns to green gowns.”
The President’s disclosure spurred laughter from his audience. In recent days the Head of State’s decision to repaint State House in green had evoked much public criticism.
However in clarifying his statement, he added, “I don’t know what you think I mean, but I mean that I would like to see one day that all of you will be wearing green academic gowns from the University of Guyana….I don’t want to be accused of changing the colours of the graduation gowns of the Cyril Potter College.”
“I really dream of the day when I can go to Turkeyen, UG, and see all of you graduating, because this is just one step that you are taking today…as the saying goes, Usain Bolt doesn’t stop at 50 metres,” the President asserted.
According to Granger, yesterday’s ceremony is significant at three levels – personal, institutional and national.
Notably absent from yesterday’s proceeding was Minister of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry, who was required to be in the National Assembly and Chief Education Officer, Mr. Marcel Hutson, who was unavoidably away on work-related duties. This was the disclosure of Ms. Ingrid Trotman, Assistant Chief Education Officer [Nursery] who spoke in the stead of Minister Henry.
Even as she commended the graduates for choosing the teaching profession, Trotman amplified that “you are the forefront of the new wave of change in our classrooms all over the country, because you are the creator of students and the Guyanese citizens who will understand and recognise that they will be lifelong learners in all aspects of their life’s journey”.
She added that “as teachers you will inspire your students to come to school to feed their passion for learning. Your students will be our future leaders; our future medical, scientific and technological geniuses, agricultural masters and creative business entrepreneurs. The evidence of a good teacher is in your classroom.”
Yesterday’s ceremony also saw performances [singing and dance] from students of CPCE and the Guyana Police Force band.
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