‘Get certified’ – Education Ministry pushes for 100% trained teachers
As part of its 2022 work programme, the Ministry of Education (MoE) is looking to have all teachers across the country trained and said it has worked over the years to ensure that this training is available at several levels.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand said that for the last 15 years the country has recorded a disappointing 70% average of trained teachers.
But that is about to change.
“The highest number of trained teachers we have is at the primary level and we have never reached 80%,” Minister Manickchand told a media brunch at Cara Lodge on Monday.
She promised an expansion of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) in 2022, the only teacher training college in the country which had never seen more than 535 students accepted annually.
This year, with teaching now online, there are some 2,500 teachers currently in training, which will see the highest number of trained teachers graduating in a single year in the next four years.
Notwithstanding, Manickchand bemoaned the small number of untrained teachers in the system.
“We can no longer accept the average 70% of trained teachers…we have to license our teachers; this is one of the most important professions,” the Minister added.
She observed that there were many untrained teachers who were doing well, but said she believed they stand a chance to do better if certified and trained.
The Education Minister said she had already said to untrained teachers in person that they need to be trained.
“We see two things, those who have qualifications and who can get in but didn’t go and teachers in the classroom who do not have eligibility criteria…for those we are upgrading those teachers so they can get in,” she added.
Manickchand also observed a drop in hinterland teachers doing training, but said it was found that more teachers were opting for the two-year Associate Degree programme instead of the four-year teacher certificate programme.
To this end, she has also called on the University of Guyana to make the necessary changes to ensure that teachers who have completed the two-year Associate Degree can now move on to complete the two final years that would ensure they secure a degree.
Manickchand said a situation currently exists where there are “half-trained teachers” because of what she said was an untenable situation at UG even as she noted that she doesn’t see any resistance to making the recommended changes necessary and getting teaching online.
Before, teachers had to study for eight years before they got a degree. With the introduction of the Associate Degree that can be achieved in four years.