…principal hints at full online operation
The education sector will see an addition of 501 teachers in its cohort, after they successfully graduated from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) on Tuesday.
At the 86th graduation exercise, Principal Viola Rowe shared that 127 are from the early childhood programme, 166 from the primary level, and 208 from the secondary level. In keeping with the online classrooms, their graduation was also held virtually.
This year, eight percent of the students graduated with distinction, 91 percent with credit, and one percent with pass. A gender breakdown shows that 87 percent of the graduates were females, while 13 per cent were males.
Principal Rowe shared that despite COVID-19, CPCE continued to cherish the opportunity to fulfil its mandate in delivering quality teachers to the nation. She regards the college as a ‘powerful’ learning institution, which will continue to function efficiently and offer superior education. In the coming years, there is an intention to establish all activities of the institution virtually, to facilitate online training.
The college currently operates 19 centres across the country, with a student population of 1340. Some of the challenges faced during this academic year include difficulty in recruiting full time staff for the humanities programme, completing the delivery of some curriculum due to the pandemic, and the lack of infrastructure to transition immediately onto an ICT platform.
“What the pandemic has done (is) it revealed the college’s vulnerability…It cannot be business as usual in chartering new waters using data,” she noted.
However, in recognising the need for information sharing, the college has been engaging the student bodies on a weekly basis. The college was compelled to restructure its teaching approach and build capacity.
She said the college will remain demand-driven and will continue to collaborate with its regional centres in offering a targeted approach to their needs.
Rowe lauded the intervention of Education Minister Priya Manickchand for her successful negotiation with the Commonwealth of Learning to open more tools for teacher training.
Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer Dr Marcel Hutson is encouraging efforts to have all aspects of teacher training online, in order to benefit a wider cross section. He said he regards education as the ‘key to open all doors’ and give the potential to realise dreams.
He challenged the administration to produce better results in the future, with the requisite tools and support that they need. He called upon teachers to develop systems to help students with difficulties, and not to let them ‘fall through the cracks’.