JIS News

MANDEVILLE — Principal of  Shortwood Teachers' College, Dr. Christopher Clarke, says work done by local researchers can help to tackle much of the challenges facing the education system.

“I believe that rather than us being consumers of research done outside of Jamaica, we ourselves can do our own research, tackle our own challenges, find solutions to them and implement them,” he said

Dr. Clarke was speaking at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota’s Spring Conference 2011, held on April 2 at the Manchester-based Catholic College of Mandeville.

“In every instance with some planning, with some extra work, we can improve our reading levels, we can improve the mathematical abilities of our students,  and we can improve every aspect of our students’ lives,” the Principal said.

Dr. Clarke implored educators to ensure that the transformation of the education system is felt in the classroom, by  doing things creatively.

Meanwhile, Vice President of  the  College, Dr. Sandra Hamilton,  said that research is critical to national development, and the teacher equipped with advanced knowledge, is best placed to educate and transform.

“Research in the praxis of education is especially needed for us to understand the problems facing our teachers and the ways that they can resolve the issues facing them in the classroom,” she said.

Dr. Hamilton, who is also Co-ordinator of the Master of Education programme offered in conjunction with Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, said the Master of Education learners have researched areas, such as raising the level of critical thinking and addressing behavioural challenges.

“This conference is the culmination of that work. They have identified challenges to their teaching of leadership capacity, and sought to create a different future for their students. This conference is a celebration of what we can achieve if we all seek to build communities of support and become driven by reflection and research,” she said.

In her address, Principal of  Denbigh High School, in Clarendon,  Jean Porter, lauded the programme offered by the college, emphasising that,  “one sure way to create a promising future is through education.”

Mrs. Porter  said  all Principals would be happy  to know that  the teachers  they supervise are on the cutting edge, citing the  Master of Education programme  offered  by the College.

“Certification is important, because we recognise that the teacher’s diploma will no longer  be (enough) for you to get a teaching job, and so every opportunity that presents itself for a teacher, or anyone to upgrade, it is always a welcomed opportunity,” she said.

The  College  started operation in 1993,  and offers teacher training at the diploma and degree levels, as well as the Master of Education programme.