Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 02 December 2010 07:30

CPCE lecturers to be upgraded to master’s level

Education Minister Shaik Baksh has announced that steps are being taken to upgrade first degree lecturers at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) to the master's level in a bid to ensure that trainee teachers who leave the institution receive the best possible training.

Speaking at a recent forum at the college, he explained that the move will also better prepare teachers to make a forceful impact on their students' performance.

These lecturers, Baksh said will be trained both through the distance and face to face modes of delivery and provision will be made too to upgrade teachers in specialized areas to satisfy the objectives of inclusive education as set-out in the 2008-2010 Education Strategic Plan.

The goal, he said is to not only modernize education, shore-up teacher education and training and students' performance but to also to restore the dignity, honour and respect the noble profession once enjoyed.

Hailing the recently launched Associate's Degree in Education (ADE) programme as another significant step to transform teacher education, Baksh said the investment is invaluable as teachers are the ones who are tasked with the important responsibility of molding the minds of their charges to be the leaders of tomorrow. He pointed out that the social, infrastructural and economic growth and development of the nation can only be achieved by a skilled workforce and the delivery of a quality education is paramount is this regard. The minister also urged trainee teachers to never forget their responsibility to their country and should discharge this duty with pride and honour. He noted that the government has been consistently improving the working condition, welfare and professional development of teachers. These benefits, he said would get better as the economy improves.

Teachers today enjoy uniform allowance, a salary increase for upgrading their qualification, those from the coastland performing duties in the hinterland regions receive an additional $ 30,000 housing allowance along with a remote incentive allowance, 25 teachers annually receive free scholarships to further their studies at UG, and as part of the package, head teachers are entitled to duty free concession. Baksh disclosed too that the Ministry is working to develop a policy framework for teachers which among other things will include targeting the best students at the secondary level for recruitment.

Under the ADE programme, trainee teachers will enjoy the benefits of a well stock library including access to a digital library, a state-of-the-art computer laboratory and will be taught to use the computer as a teaching and learning tool. Teachers at the Faculty of Education and Humanities will also benefit from the services of a modern computer laboratory that will be built there. Minister Baksh is also looking at a programme to provide every trainee teacher will a lap top computer.

Every trainee teacher will undergo 19 weeks of practical training in the school system and will be mentored and closely monitored during the first year on the job to be rightly conditioned to effectively teach the nation's children. The programme will also open the way for more graduate teachers in the school system.

On a different matter, he said the Ministry of Education will be providing free tuition in Mathematics and English to students who did not gain entry into the college because they did not have a pass in one or both of these subjects at the CSEC examinations.

The training, the minister said will be regionalized and once these candidates are successful at the May/June examinations, their place at the college will be secured at next year's enrollment exercise.

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