Jeffrey lauds scheme to help curb teacher migration

Guyana Chronicle
September 19, 2001

CYRIL Potter College of Education (CPCE) launched its distance programme for the ‘Trained Teacher Certificate’ Monday at its Turkeyen, New Amsterdam, Essequibo Coast, Linden and Vreed-en-Hoop centres.

Through the course, a total of 280 teachers will be trained in ‘Early Childhood’ and ‘Primary’ education under Guyana Basic Education Project, funded by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

Education Minister Dr Henry Jeffrey, speaking on the occasion at Turkeyen, said teachers in the hinterland, who cannot afford to travel to the city and other areas, will benefit most from the opportunity to improve the product being delivered, not from the standpoint of teacher training, but to enhance management of the system.

Jeffrey said proper managing in the sector will help solve the many problems, particularly in relation to the migration of teachers to other countries.

So we are at this historic juncture where we should put systems appropriate to distance education and information technology in place, he said.

Jeffrey said efforts will be made to bring together all the stakeholders to better structure the education system and the other factor, which will determine its sustainability, is the availability of teachers, a problem faced not only by Guyana, but Britain, New York, Trinidad and Tobago.

How do you deal with an issue that ranges from countries that are so rich? It is with this concept of globalisation and management of people that we will be in serious problems if we don’t do some thinking,” he said, answering the question himself.

How can we close this gap? That is why programmes such as this is important,” he maintained in another answer.

Jeffrey observed that, at the last CPCE graduation, the largest batch of teacher trainees graduated and education officials knew that many of them would have left for ‘greener pastures’.

Maybe, at this stage, we will have training and continuous training

for some kind of export…we will have to do so until we grasp the reality to develop some sensible project to overcome it,” he posited.

Noting that there is also the shortage of doctors and nurses, the former Health Minister said every attempt has to be made to deal with this difficult situation.

The Chief Education Officer (CEO), Mr Ed Caesar encouraged teacher trainees to continue educating themselves at CPCE.

He said he is pleased with the planning that resulted in the production of the modules and is optimistic that, in the future, the programme will be made available to others, in that way helping the Ministry to cope with the teacher shortage problem.

Caesar reminded the heads of the various CPCE departments of their major responsibility to make it attractive and sell the programme.

Acting Canadian High Commissioner, Mr Murray Kam remarked that basic education is part of the social development in poverty reduction.

He said CIDA support in Guyana has been very effective in paving the way for reform in the field of education.

&#x2CIDA is pleased to assist in distance education and will continue in any way to help Guyana to put in place programmes for the professional training of teachers,” he pledged.

Retiring Principal, Mrs Savitri Balbahadur reported that, after 73 years, CPCE is now a dual mode institution.

She disclosed that it took two years of planning for this scheme to be implemented.