20 local teachers now more marketable
April 1, 2010
20 local teachers now more marketable

Twenty local teachers have successfully completed a one year Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course from the University of Nottingham in England.{{more}}

A graduation ceremony was held in the teachers’ honour at the Peace Memorial Hall on Monday, March 29, 2010.

Speaking at the ceremony, Professors from the University of Nottingham, who tutored the students, commended them on the completion of the course which was done here in St. Vincent.

Dr. Bernadette Youens, Director of Initial Teacher Education, commended the teachers on their commitment during the course. “It has not been an easy year, but thorough your commitment and determination you have demonstrated that you now have a rich foundation of theoretical and practical understanding, which I am confident will sustain your professional development in the future,” she said. She added that working with the teachers was “a privilege and professionally rewarding.”

Youens outlined that the aim of the course was to link educational theory with professional practice. She added that the impact of the course on the teachers was evident as it influenced their thinking, their practice, how they met the needs of the individual learner and their willingness to try different teaching and learning strategies.

“You have an excellent resource in this group of young teachers to which you can draw upon to lead change in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines education system,” Youens said.

Also from the University of Nottingham, Dr. Matt Dickinson, speaking at the ceremony, encouraged the students to keep their relationship with the university a life long one.

Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel, speaking at the ceremony, said that teachers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been accessing training as they never have before. Miguel said the need for professional training was identified during the beginning of the Education Revolution, which saw universal access to secondary education. She added that training was necessary to “improve competency of teachers, so that they will be better able to deliver the curriculum at a secondary level.”

Offering his sincere thanks to the teachers for their service to the country, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves also congratulated the students on their achievements. Identifying a country’s people as the most important resource, Gonsalves said that country’s development depends on the advancement of the people. “We are not going to be able to develop our country unless we develop every single human being in his or her maximum potential,” he said.

Gonsalves added that a fair number of teachers have been trainined in undergraduate and post graduate degrees: 61 teachers have been trained in various subject areas, 21 teachers in curriculum development, 14 education officers of the Ministry of Education received training in management, administration and technical vocational education, 20 principals trained in instructional leadership and 30 teachers trained in assessment and intervention strategies.

The PGCE University of Nottingham course was funded by the Government of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Caribbean Development Bank, an investment, which according to Gonsalves, is a worthwhile one. “I am absolutely sure that the investment in you is worth every single cent,” he declared.

The ceremony also included remarks by Chief Education Officer (Ag.) Louanne Gilchrist and Graduate Guevara Leacock who reflected on the ups and downs the students experienced during the course.