An estimated $21.2M is slated to be expended by the Ministry of Education annually to facilitate an ongoing teachers upgrading programme. This proposed cost was submitted to the Ministry by Regional Education Officer, Rabindranauth Singh, in his 2014 proposal.
Previously, the upgrading programme was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency [CIDA] through its Guyana Basic Education Teacher training [GBET] but was taken over by the Ministry of Education in 2002.
The programme is one that facilitates a face-to-face training during the School holiday periods of Easter, August and December.
The first face-to-face tutorial is scheduled to commence on April 4, 2018.
According Cyril Potter College of Education [CPCE] Vice Principal [Development], Dr. Allison Thomas, the teachers’ foundation programme is intended to offer equal educational opportunities and to prepare more trained teachers to bolster the human resource to further the advancement of better education delivery for national development.
Moreover, CPCE is hopeful that the Associate Degree programme will soon be introduced at the regional level also.
“Students, we are counting on you to make the best of this opportunity…make the necessary commitment, be proactive, seek help from tutors as you strive to be successful at the course,” Dr Thomas admonished.
She was at the time speaking at the re-launch of the Teachers Upgrading Programme at the Paramakatoi Secondary School, North Pakaraima.
The programme was launched after a 10-year hiatus by the Ministry of Education through CPCE.
The move comes as part of Government’s ‘education for all’ objective. However the re-launch of the programme in Region Eight comes after four years of waiting for financial support.
Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, led a team comprising Chief Education Officer, Mr. Marcel Hutson, Dr. Allison Thomas, Vice-Principal (Development); Ms Noella Josephs, Vice Principal (Administration); and Mr. Vivian Marco, Distance Education Coordinator to the region, to re-launch this significant and very integral education sector programme.
The first programme was implemented in 1999 but experienced a lull in 2005-2006 because of various unforeseen circumstances such as finance and terrain navigational challenges. However, after a ten-year hiatus through Government’s financial and other interventions it has restarted in Region 8.
This time around, there are 68 untrained teachers who are listed for the much needed trainee teachers upgrading. Once successfully completed at the end of two years, the trainee teachers will be better equipped to access the professional ‘trained teachers Certificate Programme’ offered by CPCE.
The lot of teachers comprises three secondary school trainees while the others are from the primary and nursery levels. The standard upgrading programme will be conducted by CPCE through a locally based Coordinator for a maximum duration of two years. Some of the trainee teachers have completed Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate and other examinations but require only Mathematics or English upgrading.
Others require both. As such, the first year of training will be concentrated on Mathematics and English while the focus will be on Social Studies and Science for the second year of training.
CEO Hutson said, “We in the Ministry of Education are seriously concerned about learning and are happy that this will help to bring the regions in the hinterland and riverain communities on par with schools in the coastal regions.
“We want to ensure that there are parity and equity, hence teacher training to produce proper students who can hold their own in Guyana or in the international arena.”
Training has its significant positives: raises standards of learning, creates a conducive learning environment for students, problem-solving, supporting the vision for planning and coordinating to lift standards for quality learning outcomes, Hutson also told the trainee teachers at the recent re-launching ceremony.
Minister Henry said that the re-launch is part of her Ministry’s ongoing efforts to remove from the equation, the long distance travelling that teachers in the region would have to make in order to attain the trained teacher’s certificate.
“We want to see all our people have the good life through education and this is the track we are aiming for. As Minister of Education, I am expecting great things. A quality education will allow all of us to take our rightful place as part of the Education and unification process of Guyana. We believe in the development of our people,” said Minister Henry.
Reflecting on the improvements already made through the various interventions in the education sector, Minister Henry noted that she looks forward to sustained improvements and even greater results.
“Education is the bedrock for development. People come from unexpected places and very humble beginnings and achieve great things and I believe that we may even have future Ministers among us.”
Minister Henry further stressed the need for dedication towards the realisation of value for money via successful completion of the training of all of the trainee teachers.
Trainee teachers for the upgrading programme are drawn from 18 villages in Region Eight, sub-Region One. These include Paramakatoi, Chiung Mouth, Bamboo Creek, Chenapou, Itabac, Kaibarupai, Kurukubaru, Kanapang, Kopinang, Kamana, Monkey Mountain, Waipa, Tuseneng, Kato and Karisparu, Maikwak, Taruka.
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