- Teachers and Headteachers urged to transform educational sector
The Caribbean Conference on Educational Leadership opened yesterday at the School of the Nations, Georgetown. The two-day conference is being sponsored by the Ministry of Education and the British High Commission.
The common theme in the many presentations made at today’s opening ceremony was that educators need to work to transform the education sector into one that is second to none.
Representing the Minister of Education, Hon. Nicolette Henry, was the Director of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), Ms. Jennifer Cumberbatch.
Ms. Cumberbatch said that strong accountability and excellent leadership are consistent practices, internationally recognised and practised for top-performing education systems.
According to her, the Guyanese exceptional academics, artists, sportsmen and women that have been produced are products of the excellent education system “that we need to get back to.”
Further, she noted that moving forward, it is imperative that principals and teachers are given the training and support to run efficient result-oriented schools whose students achieve previously inconceivable feats under their leadership.
“To get to this stage, “Data collection”, is important because we need educational information on how our schools are functioning to be more informed when making policies that drive the education system towards Quality Education for All… Unquestionably, heads and principals are responsible for the creation of a school’s culture. The empowerment through knowledge of all heads and principals through conferences like this will only build confidence, give support and guidance in creating the school culture that is nurturing and productive, producing students that reach their full potential.”
Ms. Cumberbatch noted that Guyana has a number of exceptional schools that have recently achieved outstanding results against all of the odds. She added that this is so because their future-focused principals, head teachers, teachers and parents have worked together and grasped the opportunities offered by the ministry, to make a clean break from past practices and embrace the new guidelines on how schools should be run to increase attendance and improve academic achievements of their students.
Meanwhile, Director of the School of the Nations, Dr. Brian O’Toole gave an overview of the conference. He said that the conference is a product of meetings held with the Minister of Education and the Chief Education Officer, Mr. Marcel Hutson. Following these engagements, the Regional Education Officers (REdO) were consulted.
He said that specific focus is being placed on providing assistance and support to teachers within Region One, North West District. The facilitators of the conference are 30 teachers drawn from various parts of the globe including, England, Canada and Australia.
Further, he said that during this year’s conference, the Nations University will be launching its Professional Development Qualification in Educational Leadership programme which is being offered by the Cambridge University, one of the school’s many partners.
Ms. Lucila Marquez, Representative of the Cambridge University said that the Educational Leadership programme aims at offering support to teachers and leaders to be better educators. She said that the programme will teach educators how to develop a life-long passion for learning within their students.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Dr. Paloma Mohamed during her remarks told the educators that teaching is the most rewarding things to do in life. Being an educator herself, Dr. Mohamed encouraged the teachers, headteachers and REdOs that they need to become transformational leaders to have the greatest impact in their profession.
Echoing similar sentiments was British High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr. Greg Quin. He encouraged the educators to take advantage of the opportunity being offered so that Guyana can take its education system to higher levels.