Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 02 December 2010 06:31

Baksh stresses importance of proper management and leadership in schools

Education Minister Shaik Baksh has impressed upon senior teachers that only through effective leadership coupled with sound management they will be able to positively transform the performance of their students.

Speaking at a recent graduation ceremony held at Queen’s College for senior teachers in Georgetown who completed an intensive 18 month management course, Baksh said good managers know that planning and organization are critical to success and urged that every school manager adopts this approach.

He pointed out that the best performing schools often have better organized and prepared teachers and stressed that all headteachers and their senior staff must inculcate these habits in their teachers to bring out the best in them.

The minister also advocated the establishment of a National Teachers’ Council to further professionalize the work of teachers by setting high and clearly defined standards. He noted that the Ministry of Education has established standards for teachers but the Council through consultations with teachers throughout the country will upgrade those in existence among other things. The minister emphasized that it is time for senior teachers to see themselves as leaders in the school system and together strive to create a culture of learning that focuses on improving the outcomes of students as well as the operational efficiency of their respective schools. The minister informed the teachers that the training they have received should not be limited to the classroom but they should also focus on networking with parents, the community and effectively delegating duties to their subordinates to shore-up results at all levels of management at their school. He underlined that this approach is necessary because at the end of the day, the delivery of quality education and improved students performance really matters and his ministry has been making concerted efforts to realize these goals.

This task, Baksh noted can only be accomplished by having quality teachers in the school system. On that score, he stressed that the 80 teachers from Georgetown along with some 320 from the other regions who have completed the management training programme this year, in addition to the introduction of the Associate’s Degree in Education (ADE) programme at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) provide much impetus in this regard.

He underscored that the education of the nation’s children cannot be left to chance and it is for this reason that his ministry supports and encourages all teachers in the school system to pursue higher studies at the University of Guyana (UG).  The recent high number of applicants who applied to undertake the ADE, he said was very encouraging but expressed the hope to see more male applicants next year.  Baksh said that the plan now is to have at least 50 percent trained graduates in the profession including teachers with master’s degree to strengthen and broaden education research and constantly improve efficiency and performance at all levels of the education sector.

Another objective, he noted is to ensure that teachers who have completed training at CPCE are not left alone but are constantly upgraded through the recently launched series of continuous professional development programme being offered by the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).

Baksh also pointed out that all senior teachers will have to do the education management programme and a timeframe will be imposed on those who have not done so. The aim, he said is to have quality managers in the school system as quality school managers would generate the desired results. On this point, the minister urged the graduands not to overemphasize on the theoretical aspects of their training but to focus on creating a balance between theory and practise to improve students’ understanding of concepts and their learning outcomes. He also appealed to senior teachers to be mentors to their junior colleagues, encourage them to strive to understand the varying abilities of their students and guide them on ways to effectively impart their lessons to these students.

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