Regional teaching standards up for review

─ CARICOM spearheads three-day conference at ACCC

─ the role, functionality and articulation of teaching have shifted – stakeholders hear

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Secretariat of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is spearheading a three-day consultation, examining a guidance framework that could see the revision of teaching standards across the region.

The consultation, which is being held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) Lillendaal, Georgetown, fulfills a mandate of the 34th Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development, Education, held in May last year, which required the CARICOM Secretariat to consult with educational stakeholders in the development of CARICOM Standards for Teachers and Educational Leaders.

CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary-General, Directorate for Human and Social Development, Dr. Douglas Slater said improving educational delivery will affect lives both in the present and the future.

“In the now, educational transformation demands that we correct and address the errors of our past; where for us in the CARICOM and Latin American Region, education through its colonial inheritance served to limit our capacity to create, respond and adapt,” Dr. Slater told the education officials.

Speakers across the spectrum underscored the significance of technological advancement and the parallel role of education.

Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Kingston, Jamaica, Katherine Grisby said, in the 21st Century, education extends beyond knowledge gathering and regurgitation. Together with globalisation, she said technology has greatly influenced the way students learn, acquire information and act.

“Today, learners are collaborative, autonomous, exploratory and connected, poised to continually find new ways to expand and improve themselves.”

Consequently, the role, functionality and articulation of teaching have shifted. She said, while in the past teachers were regarded as the receptacles of knowledge, teachers must now become strategic facilitators and expert guides to help students critically evaluate and analyse information in the new reality of social media and competing narratives.

Chief Education Officer (CEO), Dr. Marcel Hutson told the confab that the establishment of standards for the teaching profession is critical to the much-needed transformation of the education sector.

“Standards for teacher-educators are paramount. Teacher-Educators are positioned to serve as catalysts for the required change in education delivery and outcomes.” Therefore, they must be able to model the teaching that demonstrates content, professional knowledge, skills and dispositions reflecting research, proficiency with technology and accepted best practices.”

The development of standards for practice advances the mission of the CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy to “enable people as they progress from their earliest years to senior adulthood.”

According to CARICOM, an International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 (Teacher Task Force) has been established to support governments and teacher organisations to agree on and implement a common understanding of teaching and teacher quality. The aim is to assure the quality of teacher education curricula and qualifications through standards that describe competency profiles at different stages of a teacher’s career. Additionally, it is expected to assist with safeguarding joint regulation of the profession by detailing governance and accountability mechanisms for assuring the provision of quality teacher education and quality teaching.

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