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The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College (ETTC) and the Canadian-based George Brown College last Friday, will ensure that teachers are more competitive in the international arena.

Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT), Santia Bradshaw, told those at the virtual signing ceremony that global exposure was a crucial aspect of comprehensive learning.

“In this new globalised world, graduates need to have the ability to interact with persons from other cultures and different backgrounds.

The knowledge gained from international visits (virtual or face-to-face) augment and widen the view of participants whilst providing them the opportunity to experience and appreciate world events from an informed perspective,” she asserted.

Ms. Bradshaw added that partnerships like the one forged between the ETTC and George Brown College offer substantial prospects to faculty, staff and students.

She also pointed out that international collaboration between educational institutions created advantages on the national and international level.

The Education Minister also noted that at the individual level faculty, staff and students would gain global experience through reciprocal short and long-term exchanges. This, Ms. Bradshaw explained, was designed to internationalise the College’s curriculum.

There were also many benefits to be had at the institutional level, the Education Minister pointed out, including opportunities for joint research and grant capacity building. This, she said, enabled institutions to exploit the collective power of assets, imagination, and talent.

“The METVT and the Government of Barbados therefore fully appreciate that measures have been put in place to enable citizens to be more competitive in the international arena and particularly those in the teaching profession, as teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions.

“As we prepare to transform the educational system in Barbados, we do so ever mindful that the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College has a pivotal role to play in helping us to achieve our mandate and to drive the transformational agenda,” Ms. Bradshaw stated.

Vice president (Academic) of George Brown College, Dr. Cory Ross, said the MOU was another important collaboration between a leading educational institution and his College.

He said he looked forward to the two faculties working together and students from both institutions collaborating on projects.

Dr. Ross said George Brown had a very strong early childhood education programme, with over 1,000 students gaining diplomas, degrees and certificates in this area.

Another area in which he hopes the two institutions can collaborate is that of artificial intelligence in teaching and learning.

“We look forward to working with you in the years ahead as we learn from, about and with each other. With this in mind, I think it is a great opportunity to start preparing the next generation of teachers in thinking about how the two institutions will help create new models to facilitate such an outcome. This could be very exciting work to address the important challenges that educators must confront and I think as a shared goal it is achievable. This MOU paves the way for the two institutions to engage in some cutting edge collaborative work that can be transformational,” Dr. Ross stated.

melissa.rollock@barbados.gov.bb

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