Ministry of Education, Guyana

Published in Who's who in Education

Ms. Bernadette Lorraine Barker – King
Head – Administrator Allied Arts Unit

Bernadette Lorraine Barker – King born March 26, 1958 at 36 Sandy Babb Street, Kitty, Bernadette, commonly known as Lorraine, was the fifth of seven siblings. At a very tender age, she was groomed by teachers for that noble profession since she also had a natural aptitude for the Performing Arts. This was further fostered, moulded and encouraged by her parents as well as neighbours and members of the community who held monthly concerts and performances.
In January, 1974, Bernadette commenced her career in Education as a Primary school teacher at St James-the-Less Primary School. She furthered her dream when she received training at the Cyril Potter of Education and graduated in 1982 specializing in English. In 1993 Ms Barker-King graduated from the University of Guyana with a Bachelor of Arts Degree –English and in 1998 Diploma in Education Administration with a distinction. She has dedicated her entire career to the cause of promoting the Performing Arts in Schools at all grades. In 1979, after completing a Teachers Dance Course at the National School of Dance under the tutelage of the Director, Mr Geraldo Lastra she was selected as a teacher trainer for the Mass Games Exercises. In 1980, she received training from Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea in Mass Physical Display. In 1984, she was seconded to the Mass Games Secretariat as Coordinator. This was one of her most rewarding experiences in her career. After the completion of Mass Games Programme, Ms Barker-King was among a team of persons who were instrument in the formalization of the Allied Arts Programme in schools in 1991. She was also promoted in Supernumerary appointments as Senior Mistress, Deputy Headmistress and Headmistress of Primary Schools.
Ms Barker-King gave unstinting support and assistance in the formulation of the following:-

  • Promotion of the Expressive Arts in the Schools Curriculum in Guyana.
  • Implementation to the Children’s Mashramani Programme for schools in all regions and implementation of the Children’s Costume Parade
  • Resuscitation of the Schools Steelband Programme.
  • Implementation of the Festival of Choirs and Drama Festival for schools.
  • Forging linkage with Non-governmental Organizations for the development of Expressive Arts in schools.
  • Assistance in the organization of several National Events including Independence Programme, Mashramani Programme, Carifesta X and First Inter Guiana Cultural Festival.
  • Being instrumental in the organization of the Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival and hosting of the Third Caribbean Festival in Guyana in 1998.
  • Making representation to bring on stream the Theatre Arts as a subject for the CSEC In addition, Ms Barker-King is currently the Committee Member on the Vestry at the St James-the-Less Anglican Church, Secretary to the United Bridge Builders Organization and Interim Treasurer for the Caribbean Drama Festival Association.

Ms Barker-King is the mother of one son and two daughters and a grandmother of one. Her main goal is to ensure that children are exposed to the Expressive Arts and are given the adequate balance in their education to develop to their fullest potential. It is this belief that has motivated Ms Barker-King to provide Guyanese with distinguished service.

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