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Continuing education “absolutely necessary” in education sector – minister

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…Govt to establish leadership academy to upskill teachers
The Government on Tuesday disclosed plans to establish a leadership academy to upskill teachers, particularly principals and heads of departments.
According to the Education Ministry, the academy would help principals to better manage both administrative and teaching staff, work to uphold curriculum quality, and define school values.
Additionally, the initiative would aid in schools becoming effective incubators of learning; places where students are not only educated, but challenged, nurtured, and encouraged daily.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand has said the requirements for the initial stages of development of the academy have commenced, given that Government’s primary goal is to ensure that school leaders are engaged in continuous professional development as Government moves to deliver high-quality education across Guyana.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand

“One of the things we promised in the manifesto was better supervision, monitoring and evaluation, and one of the things we promised in our five-year plan was more efficiency in the system…,” she explained.
“In every other profession, you have mandatory continuous profession development. In the health sector it (is) called CME – Continuing Medical Education. In law, it’s continuing courses; and so, in education, we believe it’s absolutely necessary,” Minister Manickchand explained.
Manickchand added that the academy, while conceptualised to the upskilling of principles, would also aid in the equipping of prospective school leaders by ensuring they are continuously trained for the role. In the meantime, teachers will continue to be retrained through various avenues.
“We have engaged in continuous professional development for teachers, and it’s such a popular programme where we have teachers trained in the hope that they will develop their skills and methodology, and that that will translate into our children’s quality of education. We have persons fighting to go on the programme, so we have to expand that programme even more now,” the minister added.

The Education Ministry recently reported a significant increase in trained teachers over a three-year period. According to statistics provided by the MoE, a total of 10,000 teachers were in the public education system when Government assumed office in August 2020, and that number has grown to 14,000 teachers with a total of 2000 in training.
Additionally, it has been revealed that over 188 teachers from the hinterland have graduated from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) in 2023, which represents a 488% increase when compared to the 32 teachers from the hinterland who graduated from CPCE in 2019.
Overall, some 1796 teachers along the hinterland and coastline have graduated from CPCE in 2023. And Manickchand has said that, with massive expansion of the Cyril Potter College of Education, Guyana has been able to achieve an average of about 99 percent trained teachers.
“Thirty percent of our teachers right now, the increased number of teachers, are training further for degrees, masters and PHDs… And they’re training for free, at no expense to themselves, because the Government is paying for it, and that can’t be discounted as nothing,” the Education Minister has said.
According to the Education Minister, getting to 100 per cent trained teachers may take some more time, since there are few instances in which it would not be practical to ask older teachers in the system to get formal training now. Instead, she said, those teachers are being supported otherwise.
She added that, with this deliberate policy decision, coupled with improved access to training opportunities, the Guyana Government has been able to ensure that students have access to a higher quality of education.
“Now, what happens when you are trained as a teacher? When you’re trained as a teacher, you’ll get a better salary; you have better chances at promotion and leadership in your school; you have more opportunities to go on to do further tertiary training, like on the GOAL programme. We believe (that) expanding the Teacher Training College was a game-(changer) and will be shown to be a game-changer in the education system. And so we’re very, very proud of this particular achievement,” she added. (G1)

The post Continuing education “absolutely necessary” in education sector – minister appeared first on Guyana Times.

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