On Thursday last 364 teachers graduated from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) at a ceremony at the National Cultural Centre, and 2,000 more will be trained over the next five years to complement the 5,000 existing trained teachers, Education Minister Shaik Baksh said.
Minister Baksh was addressing the CPCE graduating class of 2010 in the presence of Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and other special invitees, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.
Best Graduating Student Hamant France was presented with an award by Prime Minister Hinds.
The Ministry of Education is facilitating the upgrade of teacher educators at the college in order to ensure that CPCE trainees and teachers receive adequate and sufficient teacher training, according to GINA.
Under the Teacher Reform Agenda, teacher educators would be sent overseas to upgrade their qualifications to the masters’ level, thereby enabling them to effectively coach the trainee teachers.
Moreover, from this year CPCE would see the introduction of an associate degree programme, GINA stated.
The education ministry has made the necessary arrangements with the University of Guyana to accommodate those teachers who are upgrading their qualifications at the institution.
Baksh urged teachers to make more sacrifices and to be dedicated since too many students are not getting much needed attention. He also called for extra time to be spent with those children who are low achievers.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education is facilitating competency based Information Communication Technology (ICT) training for practicing and trainee teachers nationwide. This ICT training is to ensure that the teachers are capable of delivering the school’s technology curriculum.
GINA said also that the ministry would also be launching a continuous development programme for practicing teachers which offers promotions as its reward.
Baksh said a fundamental change is the emphasis on developing problem-solving skills, creativity, communication skills and processing skills.
He disclosed that the National Teachers Award would be reintroduced this year, allowing longstanding teachers to be recognised for their hard work.
Baksh also urged the new teachers to pursue excellence and not to leave any child behind and to advance skills, knowledge and attitudes for the benefit of their students.
Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag) and former teacher, Justice Carl Singh in his presentation observed that the graduates are now responsible for the planning and moulding of their students’ future, preparing them for their various career choices and the development of skills, habits and attitudes that will be retained over a lifetime of learning.
He also underscored the importance of the participation of the community as well as parents in fostering development in the school.
Principal of CPCE, Debra Thomas urged the students to make a difference in the lives of their students and to give them a reason to attend school.
In her report she highlighted that this year’s batch of graduates consists of 59 males and 305 females, who participated in the early childhood education, primary and secondary programmes.
This year’s best graduating students in the In-service Secondary Academic Programme and Distance Education Secondary are Hamant France and Kester Thompson, from the Vreed-en-Hoop and Georgetown centres respectively.