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

Over 200 trainee teachers about to study at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College (ETTC) have been urged to think before they speak and be careful of how they interact with their charges.

This advice was issued today by Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, as he addressed the opening ceremony for programmes for the academic year 2017-2018, at the Pine Hill, St. Michael institution.

The courses include the Bachelor of Education (Primary), Diploma in Education (Primary), Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) and the Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership.

Stressing that as professionals, teachers needed to be careful, Minister Jones warned: “We have to be careful what words come out of our mouths because when they come out don’t care how much we apologise we can’t pull them back. It has already penetrated the being of a delicate child…”

The former educator further pointed out that teachers should not expect children to pattern themselves after them since children were individuals.  Teachers, he stated, needed to allow them to assert themselves and not consider them rude because they questioned.

Mr. Jones urged all teachers on the island to access the offerings of the ETTC and make a difference in the lives of their charges.

Meanwhile, Principal of the ETTC, Barbara Parris, in providing the rationale for teachers being trained and qualified, said findings stated that “well qualified teachers and high-quality teaching can close the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers”.

She added that the public also recognised the importance of well-prepared teachers and believed that teachers need training and skills – special training and skills and not simply a good general education.

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