July 15, 2014
SVGTU summer workshop begins

The President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) urged all stakeholders within the educational system to “work together” to ensure the success of our nation’s children, at the opening of the organisation’s Summer Institute Workshop.{{more}}

Oswald Robinson, SVGTU president, delivered the feature address at the Peace Memorial Hall yesterday, July 14.

Robinson said: “We must collaborate; we must work together. No one party can achieve quality education. Colleagues, teachers, you are at the centre of this business of quality education.”

The workshop, which will run from July 14 – 25, is being implemented in collaboration with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, the Ministry of Education and the Basic Needs Trust Fund.

It aims to improve teachers’ and participants’ professional development by exposing them to training in Early Childhood Education, Special Needs education and Trade Union matters.

“We are catering for the holistic development of children,” said Robinson. “We are developing a nation, we are developing a society… and it’s a process.”

He urged participants to remain focused on learning as much as they can from the workshops, and to not get sidetracked by trivial matters, so that they can apply their new skills to provide the best learning environment possible for students.

“When children get up in the morning they should be excited about wanting to be at school!” he enthused.

Robinson said that teachers need to understand and recognise that students learn at different rates, and to reflect this in their teaching plans.

Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel also pressed upon teachers/participants to recognise the important roles they play in students’ educational lives.

“I urge you to dedicate yourselves diligently to the task before you… do your jobs with pride,” she implored. “Always remember [that] a teacher touches eternity.”

Miguel reminded the participants that their role is to “ensure that the educational product which is offered to students creates the appropriate environment for the ideal to be induced.”

Maxine Geller, CTF team leader, explained that the Canadian organisation’s mandate is to “change the quality of education.” She further noted that even though educational standards have improved over the decades, there are still many challenges to be faced, and through its assistance, the CTF gives a voice to over 20,000 teachers across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Also present was chief education officer Lou-Ann Gilchrist, who welcome the CTF and the BNTF and thanked them for their continued support in such pursuits.

Gilchrist also reinforced the words of Robinson and Miguel in pointing out how important teachers are to a student’s educational progress.

“Remember that all the training you receive ought to have a multiplier effect and ought to be done to benefit the students under your care,” she noted.

Wendy Bynoe, SVGTU public relations officer, gave opening remarks, during which she described teachers as the “most prominent agents in educational reform.”

“We ought to recognise education as a tool for equality and social justice,” she added.

Also present were Kenneth Douglas, BNTF representative, and Vibert Lampkin, SVGTU course director, who both gave brief remarks.