Move Teacher Education Beyond Certification

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Education Specialist in the Social Sector Division of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Martin Baptiste, believes that the education system must move towards teacher effectiveness, where the focus is not only on teacher competence, as measured by the level of certification, but on professional practice.

He was addressing the launch today of a consultancy aimed at enhancing teacher effectiveness, at the Hilton Barbados, Needham???s Point, St. Michael.

Dr. Baptiste said the focus had to be on the extent to which teachers and principals, who are trained and certified, provide consistent application of good practice in the schools and classrooms every day. Moreover, he said teacher efficacy and management in schools that focused on learning outcomes, had to be central to any investment.

Acknowledging that such a focus on teacher effectiveness must start with teacher education programmes and learning, Dr. Baptiste added: ???It is not sufficient simply to provide the training programme that certifies but a programme that actively seeks to build competencies in teachers that move beyond the practice of receiving a certificate to the practice of consistently applying good pedagogy in the classroom every day.???

The CDB representative outlined several requirements of this, saying: ???We need an instructional supervision framework that supports and encourages accountability and good practices and results in the classroom; we need to make sure that teachers have a basic set of resources so they can do their work and do it well.???

Having a teacher appraisal system which does not only validate competence but validates professional practice was also cited as important.??The consultancy is another component of the Education Sector Enhancement Programme (ESEP) II being undertaken by Government in collaboration with the CDB.

Designed to address critical issues of the Education Ministry???s continued sector development plan, the major objective of ESEP II is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of basic education in Barbados.

It is also integral to the achievement of the goals articulated in the Human Resource Development Strategy 2011-2016, and will further assist Government to better plan for its investments in the education sector.

According to the Project Manager of the Education Project Implementation Unit, Richard Harrison, eight primary schools have been selected for rehabilitation/reconstruction under ESEP II.

The schools which are expected to undergo either significant to full reconstruction are Chalky Mount, St. Elizabeth, Boscobel, St. Martin???s Mangrove, Belmont and Wesley Hall. On the other hand, those slated for rehabilitation/upgrade are St. Philip and Wilkie Cumberbatch primary schools.

Additionally, the programme has identified the construction of one new secondary school, some 50,000 square feet of floor area, in the parish of Christ Church. Construction of this institution will be treated as a priority item in the phasing of the project.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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