Further plans outlined as…


80 more teachers graduate from education management programme
EIGHTY 80 teachers graduated on Thursday from the Education Management Certificate Programme (EMCP), with portfolio Minister Shaik Baksh reiterating that the task of transforming the system lies in the ability to effectively develop the potential of Guyanese children.
The graduation ceremony took place in Queen’s College Auditorium, Camp Road, Georgetown, under the theme, ‘Managing for Enhanced Performance’.

Mr. Baksh said the role of education has been recognised in Guyana and globally, and the quintessential factor is change.
“This programme focuses on quality,” he remarked.

The latest graduates from the 18-month programme, Batch Five, take the total number coursed to 1,200 since the 2000 start, and all are required to complete nine modules.
Previously, there were seven modules and the two new additions focus on ‘Leadership’ and ‘Education Records and Documentation’. Another important module is related to ‘Financing’ but, after each, there is an examination.
For this most recent course, 100 teachers had expressed interest. Eighty-two took the test and 80 were successful, with about 60 per cent of them securing more than 65 per cent passes with credit.
Baksh said through the EMCP, outcomes, in particular, are expected to improve.
He acknowledged that the road to realising the improvements has its own challenges but pointed out that improving the quality of teachers will address those challenges and realize the sector’s vision and mission.
“We are sparing no effort to ensure that we train more of our teachers…we have transformed teacher education,” Baksh maintained.
He said efforts are being made, from the beginning of teacher training, to ensure that the sector has quality professionals.
Baksh said one programme to enhance teacher education is the recently introduced Associate Degree in Education (ADE) at Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), which replaced the three-year Trained Teachers’ Certificate Programme.
The ADE significantly lessens the period of study to obtain a Trained Teacher’s Certificate and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and those who successfully complete the ADE will only have to spend two years at the University of Guyana (UG) to secure the Bachelor’s qualification.

New arrangement

Under the new arrangement, a teacher can become a trained graduate in four years, as compared to previously, when the process required seven years, three at CPCE and four at UG.
In the past, a two-year in-service stint had to be completed before a teacher obtained the Bachelor’s, necessitating nine years of studying, which has now been lessened to four.
Baksh said: “Teachers must have degrees in education. We want our teachers to move further ahead and also obtain Master’s Degrees.”
He said education mangers must be able to affect change in their situations but, after training, many cannot perform in their area of placement and are unable to improve their status.
Baksh emphasised that education managers must be capable of securing better student outcomes and school environments and transform the management system, among others.
“Education management is about change,” he declared.
Baksh admitted that, even in the move forward, there are weaknesses within, including lack of research, the need for more to be done at the regional level and the misconception among some education managers that they can do it all.
He insisted that more education managers need to get involved in meaningful research, so that betterment can be initiated through innovation by people on the ground.
Baksh added that, at the regional level, continued professional development opportunities, such as the EMCP should be more widely pursued.
He announced that it will soon be made compulsory for teachers in management positions to take the course.
But Baksh said it is not only about taking the course, also ensuring that the knowledge is applied.
“The application of knowledge is vital in all of this,” he said.
In that context, Baksh posited that the downfall of many education managers is because they are under the misconception that they can “do it all.”
“No head can do it all,” he maintained.
Baksh said headteachers and other education managers need to delegate and do so effectively. Heads of Departments must take control and responsibility for their specific areas and secure improved student outcomes and better results in their respective areas.
He said quality education mangers assist in the development of quality teachers and mentioned that new teachers are, in some schools, left on their own, rather than being helped by education managers to assist and, ultimately, strengthen the system.
“This will change with our new approach,” Baksh stated.
Best graduate, Ms. Tulsidai Ramsarran told the Guyana Chronicle that the EMCP is especially useful for its emphasis on the practical side of things.
“It is so designed that what we do will help to enlighten, in a very practical sense, the students’ work and improve their performance,” she said.
The National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) is responsible for advancing the programme.