The Maria Holder Memorial Trust has come in for high praise from the Ministry of Education for its assistance in funding a training initiative that will see 25 teachers going to Boston next week.

Director of the Higher Education Development Unit, Dr. Patrick Rowe, while thanking the Maria Holder Memorial Trust for making the workshop possible, said: ???It is indeed a commitment to their support of education and health and other initiatives across the island.???

He added that because of costs and other reasons, several teachers may not get similar opportunities but the group would return and share their knowledge with others.

Deputy Chief Education Officer, Karen Best, while urging the first cohort to do the island proud in Boston, and ???make our educational system the best that it can be???, also told them that it marked the beginning of hard work expected on their return.

While welcoming the support of the Trust, Mrs. Best expressed the hope that more teachers would be sent on training.

Representative for the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Ruchelle Roach outlined the objectives of her organisation and noted that it saw the importance of education, particularly early childhood education. She said: ???This can be seen in our commitment to have an additional six nursery schools at various locations across the island,???the first in St. Thomas.???

In giving the rationale for the Trust???s support of the training at Wheelock College, she said: Since children are most receptive of training at a young age, early learning exposure plays an essential role in fostering their mental development. Therefore, this project fits very well with the work that is already on stream in this area.???

Reminding educators that they knew well that young children, who experienced positive and stimulating experiences and relationships with people and the environment, were well equipped to reach their potential in life, Ms. Roach said: ???Educators of young children need to have a sound theoretical knowledge and be able to apply this in practical ways when interacting with young minds.???

The postgraduate certificate from Wheelock, she added, would not only fill a critical gap in the specialised teacher training, but the 10-day service learning exchange programme would allow for ???increased capacity and the fostering of professional collaboration between Barbados and Wheelock College???.

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