says PM Phillips as 1,796 graduate from CPCE
99.5 % of teachers in classrooms are either trained or in training, MoE discloses
IN his address to 1,796 newly trained teachers, Acting President and Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips underscored the government’s unwavering commitment to fostering a dedicated, qualified, and passionate cadre of educators.
According to a press release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), he emphasised that these teachers are the cornerstone of Guyana’s education system and play a pivotal role in shaping the minds of the nation’s youth.
Addressing the graduates at the Cyril Potter College of Education’s (CPCE) 89th graduation ceremony at the National Stadium, Providence, Prime Minister Phillips commended their unwavering dedication to pursuing higher education, recognising the profound impact they will have on the lives of their students.
He stressed that their commitment to excellence in teaching will be instrumental in achieving Guyana’s education goals.
“Your choice to enter this new profession is the testament to your belief in the power of education to transform lives. Your impact is significant in developing countries. Your roles as teachers are crucial to shaping our future,” the prime minister was quoted as saying.
The release added that PM Phillips said that government remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering quality education by investing in tangible initiatives, including improving educational facilities, expanding the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education, enhancing TVET facilities, and increasing scholarship opportunities, among others.
“However, at the heart of our strategy is recognising that the key to achieving these goals lie in having a dedicated, qualified and passionate cadre of teachers…We believe that meaningful incentives and proper remuneration are essential to recognising the important contributions of our educators in molding the minds of our youths,” PM Phillips underlined.
He also charged the new batch of trained teachers to continue to pursue advanced academic endeavours, as they have a role in nurturing the growth of young minds while contributing to the ongoing transformation of the education system.
“As you embark on this journey as educators, I encourage each of you to continue to aspire for higher academic pursuits. Just as you impart knowledge to your students…May you never stop in your pursuit of knowledge for yourselves. Education is a life-long journey. And by continuing to learn and grow, you set an example for your students and contribute to ongoing improvement of our education system.”
Further, he said that teachers also advocate for education policies and reforms that promote equity and access quality education for all. These policies and reforms help to address specific needs of communities which contribute to the overall development of the country.
The prime minister added that more men are needed in the education system, as only 13 per cent of the graduating batch are men.
LARGEST BATCH OF GRADUATES
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education said that this is not only the largest cohort of teachers to ever graduate from Guyana’s only teacher training college, but also the largest cohort of graduating teachers in the Caribbean.
It said that this is another step towards its goal of having 100 per cent trained teachers in classrooms across the country.
“This moves the country’s trained teachers from 65 per cent to 79 per cent. This means that 99.5 per cent of teachers in classrooms are either trained or in training,” the ministry disclosed.
In giving a breakdown of the graduating class, the release said that 477 teachers graduated from CPCE’s Early Childhood Education Programme, 841 from the Primary Education Programme, 238 from the Secondary Academic Programme and 240 from the Secondary Pre-Vocational Programme – a total of 1,796 trained teachers.
Of the graduates, 66 graduated from the Trained Teachers’ Certificate Programme, while the remaining 1,730 graduated from the Associate Degree Programme.
In her address to the graduates, Subject Minister Priya Manickchand urged them to add value to every child that they come into contact with as they advance their teaching careers.
She noted that 87 per cent of the graduating teachers are women. More than 20 per cent of the graduates are from the hinterland and riverain communities, while 35 per cent of the teachers are from Region Four, 11 per cent from Region 10, 14 per cent from Region Three and 12 per cent from Regions Two and Six.
Some 238 trainees are graduating as Secondary Academic teachers, 78 per cent are English trained, 75 per cent are Math trained, 35 per cent are Science trained, 31 per cent are Social Studies trained and nine per cent are Spanish trained.
CPCE Principal, Noella Joseph, in her remarks urged the newly trained teachers to be professional in the execution of their mandate to educate and nurture the nation’s children, the release added.
Chief Education Officer Saddam Hussain, Deputy Chief Education Officer (DCEO) with responsibility for Amerindian and Hinterland Education Development, Marti DeSouza, DCEO (Technical), Dr Ritesh Tularam, and other officials and education officers were also in attendance.