Over 20 per cent of recent CPCE graduates are from hinterland, riverine communities
The quality of education of students living in the far-flung regions of Guyana has been significantly boosted with the addition of hundreds of trained teachers to the hinterland and riverine communities.
In excess of 20 per cent of the 1,796 teachers who graduated recently from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) are from the hinterland and riverine communities.
Teachers in the hinterland regions no longer need to travel great distances to pursue studies to bolster their career, since they have the online study option right in their communities, which helps to improve distance education while guaranteeing that everyone has equal access to opportunities and resources.
This is the result of the government’s efforts and investments to guarantee that hinterland residents have access to all the resources they need for post-secondary education and aligns with President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s world class education vision and commitment to have all teachers trained by 2025.
CPCE’s 89th graduation ceremony was hosted at the National Stadium, Providence, on Wednesday.
Several graduates applauded the government for providing them with the opportunity to be trained in the teaching profession.
Forty-eight-year-old Royan Alfred who hails from Awarewaunau, Region Nine decided to pursue a career in teaching since he had a passion for educating the country’s youth.
“I started teaching when I was seventeen years old. I didn’t complete any CXC’s but I wrote my SSPE exam. Then, I applied to teach…I stick to the job until I was trained,” Alfred told the Department of Public Information (DPI).
The recent graduate described his academic journey as good, challenging and very interesting.
And since learning has no barriers, he emphasised, “No matter how old you are, young or old, it is not too late to continue your education. According to the old saying ‘It is not too old to learn.”
He commended the government for providing teachers in the hinterland and riverine communities the opportunity to be trained in the profession.
“We are very happy that the ministry has put things in place that all teachers can complete their training. I am very happy as the eldest teacher of my community, to see the younger ones being trained,” the teacher underlined.
Franz Gomes from Sand Creek Village, Region Nine highlighted that although his journey was not an easy one, he is beyond elated about his success thus far.
Gomes expressed gratitude to the government, his family, friends and colleagues for his accomplishment. “I would like to say thank you very much. And indeed, this accomplishment which I have achieved felt really good. I felt really proud of myself and my other colleagues as well that we achieved this goal that we came to achieve.”
Gomes encouraged teachers in training to work continuously and never give up, regardless of the challenges.
Having majored in industrial technology, Gomes will be teaching technical drawing and building technology at Sand Creek Secondary School.
Nervous but extremely happy, graduate teacher Mary Ignatius who hails from Kato, Region Eight, talked about the difficulties she and her colleagues encountered that led them to this part of their journey, particularly when they had to travel from Kato community to the Paramakatoi Centre to attend their classes.
“For the past three years, when I have been studying, there were many challenges that myself and my other graduands faced. For example, the terrain was very difficult to travel because some of us walked to reach to our centre when called upon. The fare for transportation was very costly. We wouldn’t afford to pay ATV or those vehicles that were there to help us,” she added.
While highlighting that she was able to overcome all adversities, Alfred noted, “I would say that even though it is challenging, we, as women, have that power that we do not give up. So, we can use that to further our studies and to teach the children.”
She also extended heartful gratitude to the Deputy Chief Education Officer (DCEO) with responsibility for Amerindian and Hinterland Education Development, Marti DeSouza, other regional officers, and her colleagues.
She will be returning to Kato Primary School.
On Wednesday, 1,796 teachers graduated from CPCE in various disciplines. Some 35 per cent from Region Four, 11 per cent from Region Ten, 14 per cent from Region Three, 12 per cent from Regions Two and Six.