The Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) has committed to having 100 per cent trained teachers in classrooms across Guyana by 2025 as part of the Education Ministry’s strategic plan.
This is according to acting Principal of that institution, Noella Joseph, who was speaking on an episode of the Education Ministry’s programme titled “Education Spotlight” on Wednesday evening.
“Our major role for CPCE in Guyana, or by extension abroad, is for us to train teachers to become professional educators. Part of our strategic plan in the Ministry of Education’s strategic plan: by 2025, we must have 100 per cent trained teachers in our classrooms,” she said.
Joseph added that the CPCE offers a wide variety of courses and programmes for every level of teaching.
“We have several programmes that we offer. We have the early childhood programme for both pre-service and in-service students, we have the primary programme and the secondary academic and pre-vocational programmes; so, we have 4 programmes for the Associates Degree in Education (ADE),” she explained.
“We also have the Trained Teacher Certificate (TTC) programme that we offer for persons who must be in-service teachers but they are not eligible for the ADE programme.”
Joseph said that some of these programmes and courses even train teachers how to interact with students from different backgrounds while highlighting the importance of having a trained teacher in the classroom.
“Courses like Education and Society, so you know how to interact with students from different backgrounds operating or living in different areas. So these core courses would teach you what you would not learn in school or from doing CXC classes, subjects, or even certain degrees at the University of Guyana.
“So, you may have a degree but you may not know how to deliver what you know…so we give you that special touch for you to be able to interact with the students in the classroom, and to use various methodologies to get to all of your students in your class, so no child will be left behind in terms of the learning curve,” she explained.
The acting Principal also commended Education Minister Priya Manickchand for pushing the CPCE to increase the number of teachers they train by going fully, but not solely, online. This now allows the CPCE to offer its courses to teachers in the hinterland, interior and other far-off communities without the physical presence of a lecturer.
“The Minister, in 2021 she decided – through consultation with us, of course – she met with us, the officers and so on, and she said we had to go fully online because we had some minor things we were doing…but when she said it, it was internationally implemented, and we really, really embraced that, because we are able now to reach to all students in all 19 centres across our country.
“Due to the shortage of some staff members in some areas, we now have the ability that if we have a course offered at Anna Regina Centre but someone in Moruca doesn’t have a lecturer for that particular course, because we are now full but not solely online, that lecturer can accommodate a class or a course in another region. So we are not restricted to physical space anymore, which is a great, great improvement,” she explained.
Guyana’s teaching capacity received a timely boost earlier in the year when over 800 persons graduated from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), marking the largest group of graduates in the institution’s history.
Of the 843 graduates, 198 had pursued the Trained Teacher’s Certificate (TTC) Programme, and 645 had pursued the Associate Degree (ADE) in Education Programme.