A total of 377 teachers graduated from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) Friday.
Of that total, 82 are Early Childhood trained; 175 are Primary trained and 170 are trained for the Secondary level.
In his feature address at the ceremony held at the National Cultural Centre, President David Granger said Guyana is on the verge of a massive transformative process which will see the country, during the next two decades, emerging as an ‘education nation’, a ‘green’, ‘digital’ and petroleum-producing state.
The Head-of-State said that with such transformation, the country’s teachers need to be equipped to become the engine which drives an ‘education nation’.
“Guyana will be unrecognizable twenty years from now. A ‘new nation’ will emerge within the next two decades,” the President said while delivering his feature address at the 85th graduation exercise of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) held at the National Cultural Centre.
President Granger said that it is via the ‘new nation’ that profound changes in education will occur. He said every citizen will have access to the quality and inclusive education in schools equipped with smart classrooms, science and information communications technology (ICT) laboratories and qualified teachers.
“Teachers will be expected to become the engine to drive the ‘education nation’. They will propel economic transformation. They will nurture present and future generations and equip them with the skills needed for transformational change. Teachers are the sinews of the country’s education system,” President Granger said.
The President said teachers are expected to lay the educational foundation of those who will become, eventually, the scientists to enhance our knowledge and expedite our development.
The Head of State said the public education system respects cultural diversity and should make provision for respecting the country’s varied cultural practices.
“Teaching in Yakusari in Berbice cannot be the same as teaching in Yupukari in the Rupununi. Learners are not all the same yet, curricula tend to be the same, textbooks tend to be the same and examinations tend to be the same,” he said calling for teacher-education to become inclusive and responsive to cater for the country’s cultural diversity.
President Granger also said education will be accorded the highest priority during the Decade of Development which starts on January 1, 2020, and will conclude in 2029.
The ‘Decade’ will enforce the constitutional entitlement of free education from nursery to university; emphasize science and technology without deemphasizing the humanities and social sciences. Science education will be taught in every school and ensure that there is at least one nursery school in every village.
“…No eligible student or teacher will ever again have to pay to attend the University of Guyana,” President Granger said, even as he assured trained teachers that they will be provided with increased incentives to encourage them to take up positions in hinterland regions.
“Untrained teachers in the public education system will cease by the end of the ‘Decade’, 2029,” the President iterated. (Extracted and modified from Ministry of the Presidency)