Teachers have been reminded that as leaders they are called upon to make a difference in the transformation of their charges.
This reminder came recently from Education Minister, Ronald Jones, as he spoke at the graduation ceremony for educators and others across the Ministries of Education and Labour who undertook a nine-month course of study with Durham College, Canada.
Educators who attended the ceremony at the Barbados Community College (BCC) heard they could not use outdated approaches with today’s students, and occasionally may be required to report on their remit and how they had changed the lives of students.
“We are in a time when leaders are being called upon to provide leadership that makes a difference. You talk about transformational leadership – an important process, an important system, a dynamic – that brings about realities to make the 21st century conform to what we want to achieve as educational leaders or leaders in wider society and therefore, we cannot approach it in a fossilised mindset. We just can’t simply rely on that which is provided in books or face-to-face…,” Mr. Jones charged.
Pointing out that educators had also to rely on their own reflective behaviour, the Minister said they had to, at times, query whether they had achieved goals set or their students had reaped success. “There are some people in leadership in schools who don’t interrupt the process but keep burrowing down the same path doing the same thing, achieving the same failures,” he noted.
Maintaining that change was taking place, he said educators were there to bring hope and encourage faith in their students. However, Mr. Jones reminded them that the transformation was multi-faceted and they had to use all kinds of techniques at their disposal to make sure that the necessary changes took place.
The Minister commended the facilitators of Durham College, noting that Canada had always had a longstanding relationship with Barbados and the course would contribute to the further transformation of education on the island.
Certificates were awarded by the College to 12 secondary school teachers who coordinate the Caribbean Vocational Qualification courses; and to tutors and staff from the BCC, the Barbados Vocational Training Board, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council.