Graduates of the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College have been told that the reality that awaits them when school reopens in September will be quite different from what they’ve been preparing for during their courses of study.
Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, told the over 200 newly trained teachers, who graduated during a virtual ceremony last Saturday, that COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated the speed in which circumstances can change, and the need to be adaptable to that change.
“And, therefore, whatever your virtual reality is now, remember that your mandate to deliver and manage quality education must remain unchanged. The disruption from this pandemic has presented an opportunity to create a new vision for education which will take our children, our teachers, and by extension, our country forward.
“As an educator, your role is vital to any educational change. You are the frontline professionals with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to transform and deliver high quality education to all of our citizens,” Ms. Bradshaw advised.
During her address, the Education Minister shifted her focus to the 76 graduates who completed the postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership.
She reinforced that leading schools in this knowledge-based economy would require a unique set of skills, and reminded them that they were critical to teacher effectiveness and student learning.
Minister Bradshaw implored the group to develop policies which would transform schools into “learning communities where knowledge is generated and entrepreneurship is stimulated”.
“As educational administrators, you must be driven by creative ideas that will motivate teachers and help them to create skillful students who can adapt to the changing times. The future is unpredictable. But if we develop an education system that is inclusive, equitable and relevant, we can provide our students with the skills that will help them to navigate unknown territory and sustain themselves, their economy and their society in the future. You are critical to the success of this process and I urge you to do your part to be part of the change that you wish to see in education,” Ms. Bradshaw emphasised.
She added that her Ministry was depending on teachers to assist in developing students into effective citizens.
And, she charged the graduates to utilise the Ministry’s motto “Each One Matters” by operationalising it in their classrooms and management settings, and to embrace technology as an integral tool for teaching, learning and managing in this digital age.
“I congratulate all of you on completing your programme of study at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College. I know that you have worked hard and sacrificed much in order to gain success, and I applaud you all. You are now part of an institution that continues to build on its rich legacy and is making commendable progress in teacher education. You are now members of the alumni that will no doubt be giving back to the College, and in turn, to Barbados,” Ms. Bradshaw underscored.