First Look

Education Minister reassures heads of Teachers’ Colleges

Ministry of Education | 2013-06-11 00:00:00

Education Minister, Reverend the Honourable Ronald Thwaites this morning met with the heads of the country’s teacher training institutions to address concerns emanating from comments he made while addressing educators at a function in Montego Bay, St James.

The meeting, which was held at the Heroes Circle offices of the Ministry of Education, was also attended by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs Elaine Foster Allen; Chief Education Officer Mrs Grace McLean; Chairman of the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (JTEC), Professor Kenneth Hall, as well as Executive Director/Commissioner of JTEC, Mrs Maxine Henry Wilson. Professor Stafford Griffith of the School of Education, University of the West Indies and Dr Marcia Stewart of the Joint Board of Teacher Education were also in attendance.

Minister Thwaites used the forum to reiterate the need for Jamaica to continue producing world-class teachers and acknowledged the role of the country’s Teachers’ Colleges in achieving this mandate.

He pointed out that despite the requirements outlined in Jamaica’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund, nothing will be done to impair the viability of the country’s teacher training institutions, as they are crucial to Jamaica’s development.

The Minister made it clear that the Ministry of Education will continue to explore opportunities, both locally and overseas, for graduates of teacher training institutions who may have challenges securing teaching positions in the local school system.

Minister Thwaites, in his discussion with the representatives of the tertiary institutions, encouraged the leadership of the training colleges to re-examine their curriculum offerings to ensure that they are producing graduates to satisfy needs in areas such as Special Education, Mathematics and Science, which have not always benefited from priority attention.

He also encouraged the colleges to expand their multi-disciplinary offerings in order to increase their student intake and to better position themselves to respond to more of the country’s training needs.

The Minister of Education, in committing to having more frequent meetings with the colleges and other stakeholder groups, encouraged the heads of the Teachers’ Colleges to position themselves for the many in-service training opportunities that will arise in the short to medium term.

These include the provision of additional training for all diploma-trained teachers who will be required to obtain at least a first degree and the provision of short courses for teachers who need to be trained or retrained in particular areas.

In addition, the teacher training colleges were also encouraged to make preparations to support the training and professional development of principals being effected by the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL). The colleges are strategically placed to engage in this activity.

Meanwhile, the officials of the training colleges used this morning’s meeting to emphasise that teaching remains an attractive profession and pointed out that Jamaicans are still eager to pursue teaching, even in situations where that training may serve as a foundation for other professional pursuits.

The leadership of the training colleges highlighted the need for Jamaicans to invest in educational development during this period of economic constraint in order to be able to capitalise on the opportunities that will present themselves when both the local and global economies recover.

Posted By :Sheryl bromfield

Company Name : Ministry of Education

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Company Address : 2-4 National Heroes Circle Kingston 4, Jamaica

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