Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones. (FP)

Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones. (FP)

There is a high demand for the Bachelor of Education (Primary) programme, expected to start in September at Erdiston Teachers’ Training College.

This was revealed today by Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, following an address to the new intake at the College who will be undertaking several programmes this academic year.

“The demand is great, both from the schools for the evening programme and from those who are coming ‘green’ into the system,” Mr. Jones said.

He explained that the new degree would give persons who are exiting either secondary school – either fifth or sixth form – or Barbados Community College, a chance to make an early determination if they wanted to teach.

“If they want to teach, a cohort would come straight from those institutions into the programme, which will start in September this year. It means that in four years’ time, there will be able to go straight into the class-room, already trained, already equipped.

We are moving away from taking people ‘green’ – with just academic qualifications – into the classroom and then training after, which we call post-service training. “We are doing pre-service and not post-service training. …There will be 60 of those persons who will be coming ‘green’, and then we are going to be [training] another 60 in an evening programme for those who are in the schools who have the associate degree, which is the two-year teacher training degree,” he said.

The Minister further pointed out that by 2018 or 2019, a cohort of about 60 student teachers would be in the system who are Bachelor of Education-equipped for the primary section, and by 2020, those who are ‘green’, who have done the Bachelor of Education, would follow.

Reiterating what he said in Parliament earlier this week, the Education Minister stressed that by 2020, he wanted all of the teachers who were still in the system to be trained, whether at the Diploma of Education level or having a Teacher Training qualification.

Revealing that the Ministry’s aim was to train some 1,000 out of 3,000 teachers in about three years, he also stated where there was a need for faculty at the Training College, this would be increased.

On the latter point, Mr. Jones stressed: “But right now we have a permanent establishment here with some posts not filled because we didn’t need them at the time. So, the opportunity is there to fill those posts but where they might not be filled, Erdiston also uses what we call a part-time cohort of educators to deliver special needs education, nursery education, and general interest programmes.

“So, they would work out the best strategy to ensure that a common curriculum runs across the particular programme that you have within the system.”

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