Go and be trained!

That is what Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones is telling teachers in the educational system.

The Minister made this call recently as he addressed principals and teachers at a two-day training workshop, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, on the Schools Positive Behaviour Management Project (formerly known as the Child Friendly School Project), a model created in collaboration with UNICEF to provide an alternative to corporal punishment.

Stressing that there was a need to meet the differing aspects of children, Mr. Jones said: "We have to promote effective learning, good teaching and learning. There are some teachers who say that they don’t want to be trained at Erdiston [College] or they don’t want to be trained."

He said: "I don’t have my way. I would not appoint people who are not trained first. I would not. I don’t care how long you were in the system. If you are not trained you are not teaching. ??Because you will not get promoted.

"The University [of the West Indies] is telling all of its lecturers now ???I’m sorry, the pedagogy is important. Go and be trained’."

While noting that Erdiston College had created "all kinds of different programmes for training" and young people were accessing these, he called on those already in the educational system to follow suit. Mr. Jones pointed out: "We have about 179 [students] at Erdiston now for the induction but they were exposed to the classroom before, for a term, [or] a year. They are being trained so that they have some foundational knowledge to impart within the schools. So [there] is good quality teaching and learning and continuing professional development…

"You will never go to a doctor that studied in 1964 and has not read one book [since]; the scalpel is going to be old, the stethoscope dinosaurial… so why should you go to a teacher who has not refined his/her techniques, knowledge, skills and competencies." jgill@barbados.gov.bb

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