The University of New Brunswick presented 12 boxes of books valued $1.5M to the CPCE following the close of a management programme for teachers and administrators it recently conducted in partnership with the Education Ministry and the Guyana Improving Teacher Education Project (GITEP).
A Government Information Agency (GINA) press release said the University of New Brunswick, Canada, the ministry and the World Bank collaborated to offer the ‘Principles and Practices of Educational Institutional Management’ course to teachers of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), the University of Guyana, and the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education.
The course which started in November 2012 and concluded recently, aimed at strengthening management practices, building capacity of teachers and also sharpening classroom teaching. This is the third and final session of the course that was successfully completed, GINA said. Certificates were handed out by representatives of the Canadian university including Dr Ann Sherman, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick at a ceremony held at the CPCE.
CPCE Principal, Deborah Thomas, said that in addition to providing a higher level of tuition, the exercise will allow the participants to explore and introduce new projects in the way in which the curriculum is delivered and evaluated.
In her address, Director of the National Centre for Education Resource Development Jennifer Cumberbatch said that the role of leadership has become increasingly important as operating an institution is a great responsibility. She said that the education system needs managers that are skilled and educated as they are change agents tasked with many responsibilities. Cumberbatch also urged teachers to use innovative ways to ensure that children learn.
Meanwhile, Dr Sherman said the University of New Brunswick had conducted such courses in several other countries where educators are always thinking about how to make schooling better for teachers.
“We feel that this project has been a success certainly for us. We have gotten to know the context of schooling in Guyana very well which has really added to our knowledge… we focused on leadership. I think our real concern is always for the children in schools no matter what country we’re working in, but research has shown over and over in Guyana that unless there is leadership in schools, and the leadership in the teachers’ preparation programme are really in touch with thinking about education, nothing different will happen in schools,” she said.
In giving an overview of the course, GITEP Project Coordinator Tota Mangar said the University of New Brunswick was awarded the consultancy after a thorough assessment by the graduation panel and with support from the tender board administration and the World Bank. “The university was tasked with the design and administration of a partly online institution management course for the administrators,” he said.
In November 2012 the team made an initial visit and interviewed administrators at CPCE, its satellite centres at New Amsterdam, Vreed-en-Hoop, Linden and Anna Regina and at UG. Following this, a customised management course which was seen as appropriate and supporting local needs evolved. Three sets of face-to-face meetings and in-between online directions were then held. The face-to-face sessions were conducted at November month end, after which another session was held in January and the final round ended recently. Participants also benefited from online instruction.
“At each face to face session participants were presented with instructional kits to guide them along, and towards the end of the course, the groups presented their management projects, and these were evaluated by the UNB team,” Mangar said.
According to Mangar, teachers were particularly appreciative of the consultancy and posited that it would lead to stronger management by administrators while at the same time contribute to the building of human resources and institutional strengthening at the CPCE.