JIS News

Twenty-five teachers from western Jamaica have been awarded masters degrees in Educational Leadership and Reading from the Central Connecticut State University in the United States.
Their achievement was facilitated through a collaborative programme between the Sam Sharpe Teacher’s College in St. James, and the Central Connecticut State University. This brings to 350 the number of Jamaicans that have graduated from the programme, since it was instituted some five years ago.
At the graduation ceremony held on January 15 at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay, president-elect of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association, Lowell Reid, lauded the programme as a “dynamic partnership for education”.
He encouraged the graduates to be role models and to strive to be catalysts of change in transforming the education system.
Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson, in her address, urged the graduates to use their new skills for the advancement of the country’s education system. She told them that rather than being at the end of a journey, they were just starting on another road, and Jamaica was depending on their performance.
“With the uncomfortable levels of functional literacy among our students at the primary and at the secondary levels, and the calls for a comprehensive and systematic remediation programme.the new skills and competencies, which you have acquired, will be needed in the system, and I know that you will all add great value to the attempts at remediation,” she stated.
She emphasized that it had become imperative for the government to expedite the rationalization of the teacher training colleges across the island. The move, she pointed out, was necessary to facilitate the upgrading of the 17,000 teachers, who did not have degrees.
The Education Minister noted further, that the government was fully cognizant of the need for massive capital and organizational investments in teacher training colleges, to create wider access and flexible life-long learning opportunities.
In the meantime, she said that the institutions were being encouraged to forge productive partnerships with offshore universities, with a view to diversifying their offerings and to contend with the rapid changes in the education sector. Meanwhile, Mrs. Henry Wilson announced that the Ministry was considering favourably, a proposal from the Joint Board of Teacher Education, which calls for all teacher-training colleges to be made degree granting institutions, by linking them with the University of the West Indies and other local universities.
“It’s a development whose time have actually passed, so we need to catch up,” she stated.

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