–Rose Hall girl is overall best performer
Guyana’s teaching capacity received a timely boost on Wednesday, when over 800 persons graduated from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), marking the largest group of graduates in the institution’s history.
This was announced by Principal of CPCE, Dr. Viola Rowe, while presenting her report at the institution’s 87th graduation exercise.
The graduation exercise took on a hybrid format, with participants and graduates using Zoom and those receiving special awards attending the ceremony in person.
According to Dr. Rowe: “The January 2022 graduating class now holds the record of the largest graduating batch with its 843 trained teachers, of which 198 are early childhood trained, 404 primary trained, and 241 qualified for the secondary level.”
She added that of the 843 graduates, 198 pursued the Trained Teacher’s Certificate (TTC) Programme and 645 pursued the Associate Degree (ADE) in Education Programme.
Dr. Rowe said that during the reporting period, the college experienced an astronomically high demand for teacher education with an enrolment of 2,664 first-year applicants.
The Principal said that before the 2021 reporting period, the online application was unavailable, and this perhaps restricted knowledge and applications for potential applicants.
Further, she said that enrollment size was restricted due to physical space and dormitory capacity for pre-service learners.
She said that the college experienced the effectiveness of technology as a contributor to the number of applications received online for the reporting period.
Dr. Rowe said that the increase in teacher demand is also credited to the clarion call by the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, for all untrained teachers to register at the college in keeping with the strategic plan to have 100 per cent trained teachers in the education system.
She said too that the college continued to operate its 19 centres across the ten administrative regions with some programmes being expanded.
The ADE programme was previously offered at eight centres, but it is now being offered at nine additional centres while the TTC is now being offered at 16 centres compared to the 11 centres in the previous reporting period.
Chief Education Officer (CEO), Dr. Marcel Hutson, said that it is the Ministry of Education’s vision that the college becomes the premier teacher-training institution in the region.
One cannot overemphasise the importance of education as it is considered the key to opening doors, he said, adding that it is clear that education is a vital ingredient that provides a way of escape from the vagaries of life.
“This benefit has become increasingly important because social changes today take place with increasing speed and affect the lives of more and more people. Education is, therefore, the vehicle through which persons understand these changes and are provided with the skills for adjusting to them,” Dr, Hutson related.
It is against this background that he said that the CPCE must be considered as the vanguard and bedrock of Guyana’s education system, and must do everything within its power to protect its image by producing teachers of quality.
Dr. Hutson said that the performance of the graduates this year was encouraging and he challenged the administration of the college to improve its performance with each passing year.
The CEO said that teachers must embrace, in a strong way, those fundamental principles learnt during their period of training.
He told the trained teachers that as they move into the school system, they must remember that passion and purpose are fuel for energised development.
Dr. Hutson said: “I say to you, never lose focus of your passion and purpose, for a man without them will be like a ship without a sail, a ship without a destination. Remember the future of the nation’s children is in your hands. Believe in yourself and never be afraid to explore new approaches to teaching and learning.”
The ball is now in the court of the newly trained teachers like Jessica Seeraj of Rose Hall, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
Emerging as the best graduating teacher, Seeraj, who read for her Associate Degree in Education, said that she was shocked when she received the news of her accomplishment. She said she could not have done it without her “strong support system.”
As reported by the Department of Public Information (DPI), Seeraj said: “To make them realise that, especially my students that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t even matter if it is a small village like Canefield in Berbice, you can still top the entire country… so just think of yourself as somebody who can achieve it all.”