Implementing standards of practice for regional educators must be rapid – President Ramotar
Georgetown, GINA, August 5, 2013
President Donald Ramotar wants the standard of practice that has been developed for the teaching profession which outlines the academic and professional benchmarks for educators within the Caribbean to be implemented expeditiously.
His call came as delegates of the 25 member Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) are meeting in Guyana for its 36th Biennial Conference, to strengthen the bonds of solidarity among teachers of the region.
President Donald Ramotar delivering remarks at the Caribbean Union of Teachers 36th Biennial Conference at the National Cultural Centre
The Guyanese of Head of State who was last year appointment to a United Nations (UN) steering committee with the task of reviewing the world’s education system said Guyana has been in consultation with a cross section of education stakeholders from other nations for the establishment of Teaching Councils.
The overall goal, the President explained, is to promote the professional development of teachers, provide professional leadership in teaching, aid policy formation, regulate, build and maintain the competence of the profession, evaluate and improve its status and promote cohesion between training and practice.
Scouts Association stand at attention as President Donald Ramotar arrive at the National Cultural Centre for the Caribbean Union of Teachers, 36th Biennial Conference
“These are all critical elements which when attained, will place our teachers squarely among the top respected professions where they actually belong,” President Ramotar said.
As Guyana hosts the Biennial Conference for the first time in 20 years, there was an acknowledgement that the theme “Improving the Professional Status of Teachers in the Caribbean” was apt for the occasion.
“It seems as though… the community of teachers that we have right now… certain professional ethics within this community seem to be eroding… our professional status is being challenged,” President of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) Colin Bynoe said in his remarks.
The two- term GTU President is hoping that the conference aids in regaining the much needed professional status in the teaching profession and the paramount position it holds over several other occupations.
A message from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin La Rocque to the delegates of the conference won the accord with the call for standardisation of programmes that offer initial professional teaching qualification.
“In the various institutions across the region, the teaching certificate, the teaching diploma, pre-service bachelors of education and the post graduate diploma in education are all awarded upon completion of a programme of professional studies. However, the programmes that lead to these initial professional qualifications, differ significantly in content duration and assessment… and are delivered at different academic levels,” La Rocque argued.
President of Education International (EI) Susan Hopgood speaking at the Caribbean Union of Teachers’ 36th Biennial Conference
The call was made in light of the high demands that are being placed on the region’s education system as a result of its gradual shift to the knowledge- based economy and competition in the global market place coupled with free movement of skilled labour.
In his remarks at the conference’s ceremonial opening this evening at the National Cultural Centre, President Ramotar seemed satisfied with the progress being made in improving the region’s education system.
“We have now developed for ourselves a more harmonised approach to teacher education and training which guides each of our nations in establishing common standards in promulgating underlying policies in relation to teacher education and training,” President Ramotar said.
He had last year announced automatic scholarship for the nation’s top performers when Guyana copped four out of the eight CXC top awards last year, and had called on the Teachers Unions to play their part as active partners in defining a clear vision for teachers over the coming years.
As the opening ceremony drew to a close, representatives of each of the 25 teachers’ union brought fraternal greetings.