Ministry of Education, Guyana

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Monday, 17 July 2017 09:58

GTU/Canadian Teachers Federation commences Two week Teachers Workshop in Kwakwani

 “Guyana must come to the place of creating Global citizens through Education”-CEO Hutson
Kwakwani maybe a community of low performing schools at present but all being equal this may soon see a shift for betterment and improved performance. news 20170717 4
On Monday, Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson admonished a gathering of teachers at the Kwakwani Primary School to turn the tide through collective engagements with stakeholders and through self-development as a motivator to the rest of the nation. 

Hutson made remarks during remarks to signal the commencement of a two weeks training workshop for teachers in Kwakwani which has been an annual feature for several years, funded by the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) and the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) in collaboration with the Government through the Ministry of Education.   
While funding has been reduced by the Canadians, the GTU has opted to continue pumping finances into its realisation to the benefit of all teachers to raise the standards of teaching on the local shores.
The certificate course is expecting participation from more than 100 teachers in the community and its environs.
Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson during remarks at the workshop’s opening stressed the importance of learning communities as was done in the past while pointing out that it is an example of the Canadians sharing their experience in the profession with Guyanese teachers to adopt best practices. news 20170714 6
During an inspirational delivery, Hutson who was once the regional educational office for Region ten admonished, “Teachers must share and be examples of responsible attitudes and actions.” even as he spoke too of the requirements for successful schools such as effective Parent Teachers Associations (PTA), Leadership and about Government’s overall school improvement Plans( SIP).
CEO Hutson reminded the participants that it is up to them to choose the levels of teaching that they opt to present: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires,” he said. 
As a former regional educational officer of region 10, Hutson commended the stakeholders for pushing to keep the teachers training programme which he endorsed as “very significant, “alive. 
“It has come at a critical time with respect to the transforming of Education which has commenced at the Ministry of Education level”, Hutson said.
The CEO further noted that “capacity building is vital and I'm delighted to know that the Canadians are part of the process of sharing and learning best practices, values and attitudes with our teachers.”
Come September, Guyana will celebrate education month under the theme ‘promoting wellness in communities through education’ it is no secret that sometimes riverine schools suffer much, but according to CEO Marcel Hutson assures that teachers from those communities will be helped to improve. news 20170714 7
“For any school to do well we must have strong PTA so that children can do better. There must be a coming together to make an one teacher should be making moves on his own to be extraordinary… we need critical leadership, servant leadership where you seek to serve first empowering the children and recognising your mandate. We need to see leadership as servants; teachers, parents and officers all. Leadership can either be the solution or the problem and people look to you for guidance so we must have a plan for improvement and no school no matter how good is worth its salt unless we band together with the common purpose,” Hutson told the teachers.  
He stressed that guidance counselling is important to fix conflicts as a teacher and plan for improvement. The former East Ruimveldt boy who became CEO encouraged teachers to soak up all that they can and to use the method of counselling and planning to do better because the nation’s future depends on it.
“We need to create global citizens through our students, our children need to understand that matriculation in Mathematics and English cannot be done by magic but through a well organised effort from all stakeholders. I commend you attendance as your belief in something that is good, you are important, you unlock ignorance and bring light and hope, you in some cases bring hope to some students who may not have parents who are focused, and you have the keys to set students free to be better people.” Beyond the potentials of a seed and the life of a tree, he encouraged the teachers to teach people with the futuristic objective of transforming lives for a thousand years. “
Team Leader for the 2017 CTF, Ms Alvarine Aldridge described the training as “a great partnership through which six Canadian educators will learn from Guyana and teach and to take away best practices to employ in Canada while sharing ours to help improve the delivery of education in Guyana.” Adamant, Ms Aldridge said “much can be achieved … we have differences that can be used to better the delivery of Education in Guyana and Canada.”
Subjects to be covered over the two weeks of the Certificate course include HIV/Aids, guidance and counselling, admin, Education and language, science and mathematics and Administration. The admonition from the Canadian to the teachers was, “He that Loves knowledge is wise… make the most of the experience.” 
Course Director Mr Lancel Baptists AA in his programme overview noted while the Guyana/ Canada relationship is decades old this workshop is the second one in three years for Kwakwani and he is optimistic that the teachers in that demographic would benefit from yet another programme planned for hosting 2018. "This programme commenced in 1967 after a former General Secretary sought assistance to boost Guyana’s Education System delivery and was held in Georgetown and New Amsterdam. The last programme was held in 1994 in Corriverton and Demerara then he noted that the executives of GTU recognised that the one week programme was too short and not enough was covered and as such with effect from 1995 the two weeks programme commenced amounting to nine days of actual intense training.
The GTU official noted that “From 1967 to 1997 when all the training programmes were held everywhere else benefited except for Kwakwani and so in 1995 we decided to shift the programme less coastland and more riverine areas because the unknown teacher folks need as much assistance and as the known and more accessible locations.” That programme had 180 participants from Region one (1).  Baptise said, “They (the participating teachers) in the face of not so many Riverine teachers not being trained, understood that enlightenment was and remains a necessity.” In 2016 the programme was hosted in region eight.
Baptiste encouraged that while teachers often complain about not enough being done for them, they need to grab the opportunity with both understanding that this is the one occasion when all the teachers of the region come together in one place. "This programme is not a joy ride...our expectations are high because we want to see education develop that why we are investing in you."
At the Workshop opening, it was also announced that a day care facility has been put in place for the children of teachers who are in attendance.
Ms Aldridge while offering greetings from all members of the Canadian Teachers Federation informed that the six Canadians on her team to act as tutors have been communicating for four months and collectively brings approximately 100 years of teaching experience.
She noted too that “this alliance has brought us together and together we can change the world…by your one bold, positive step to participate.”
In the world of work where some know; others do what has to be done even as others wonder what happened, Ms Aldridge stated, “Teachers you are doing what has to be done...The success of GTU and the programme is up to you, learn and then go spread the word of what is happening through the collaborations… education and teachers make the difference.”
Also speaking at the opening ceremony the GTU President Mr.Mark Lyte who expressed excitement that the collaboration is happening for the region.  He labelled the CTF/GTU/MOE workshop “vital to advancing the education development cause. This work shop will go a far way to ensuring that our learners can benefit through our in service Teachers." He singled out CEO Hutson as the first CEO to address the training in the history of the programme and said: “this signals that we have turned the corner on serious Ministry of Education involvement.” 
The GTU president was firm in his stance to the teachers, “ensure that you get enough of what is on the offer to take back to the classrooms to the benefit of the nation.  A wealth of experience’s a very costly undertaking let us not waste it.”  A workshop was also done in Linden by the CTF team also.

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