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Friday, 24 November 2017 09:31

In wake of Chinese donation…CPCE Principal anticipates more interest in Science

news 20171124The education sector will, in the near future be furnished with seven trained science teachers from the Cyril Potter College of Education [CPCE]. Another 15 trained teachers will follow subsequently, effectively bringing the total of trained science teachers produced by the CPCE to 22.

This is according to CPCE Principal Ms. Viola Rowe who recently revealed that the seven students represent teacher trainees in their second year of training and the 15 others are in their first year of training.
But according to Rowe, in recent years not too many trainees have been gravitating to the CPCE’s science programmes. She has attributed this state of affairs to the fact that “we did not have state of the art laboratories.”
She disclosed that over the past five years, “we have struggled somewhat with finding resources, chemicals and so for the effective delivery of the science programmes.” This situation was however partially addressed last December when President David Granger learnt of the challenges of the teachers training college and decided to donate $1 million to improving its Science and Information Technology laboratories.
About five months after this gesture, the President, Rowe said he donated another $1million which allowed CPCE to further develop its science laboratory.
However, the biggest and most recent donation from the President came a few days ago. The donation took the form of a multi-million-dollar grant from the People’s Republic of China. During a recent discussion with President Granger, China’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Cui Jianchun, offered to present the President with a gift that could lend to Guyana’s development. The President in accepting the gift asked that it be towards the development of the education sector. The gift came in the form of $47.8 million that will go towards the upgrade of the CPCE’s science and ICT laboratories.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed Wednesday by Education Ministry Permanent Secretary, Mr. Vibert Welch, and Charge d’ Affaires/Political Counsellor of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Yang Chengi. It will allow the Education Ministry to disperse the grant.
According to Rowe, the funding will facilitate the procurement of some 56 items including chemicals and other materials and other things that will help to further upgrade the laboratories at CPCE and provide micro-science kits [portable laboratories].
The micro-science kits, she explained, will cater in particular to areas [mainly hinterland] that lack physical space for laboratories.
“We have done some work in some small way but this grant that is coming from China will certainly go a long way in helping us to deliver an effective science programme to over 1,000 teacher trainees spread across this country,” said Rowe.
She anticipates that more teacher trainees will be attracted to the various science programmes as a result.
According to Rowe, what obtained in the recent past was a “chicken and egg” situation. “If we are not churning out teachers from the college then we don’t have the teachers in the college to deliver…but once we have the resources necessary to deliver our programme then teachers will be encouraged to come and register for the sciences and probably stay with the programme,” Rowe considered.
In order to tutor at the CPCE, Rowe disclosed that persons are asked to have at least a second degree. Rowe however noted that in order for an individual to tutor at the Associate degree level that person is required to be qualified at the Master’s level.
“Sometimes we don’t get that but we accept the first degree in the area of specialisation along with at least five years of experience teaching the subject area,” Rowe said.
Currently there are but three full time staff members tutoring in the subject area of science. Given the evident shortage of tutors in this regard, Rowe said that “we have been benefiting somewhat from our colleagues at the University of Guyana and also teachers in the education system who have been serving as part time tutors.”


Read 1821 times Last modified on Monday, 27 November 2017 09:37

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