Plans are afoot for the establishment of a Teacher’s Service Commission. According to Education Minister, Ronald Jones, “government will be moving ahead with plans for the commission’s establishment in the new year.”

Speaking yesterday at the Speech Day and Prize Giving Ceremony of the St. Leonard’s Boys’ School, Minister Jones stated that he was cognisant of the frequent calls for the commission.

“We are aware that the Barbados Union of Teachers has been calling for the establishment of the commission to deal with the issues which impact on the teaching profession,” he said.

He noted that another initiative aimed at the advancement of teachers included plans to ensure that all teachers were licensed by the beginning of the new school year.

“Come September 2009, all teachers in Barbados will be licensed… we will be tying this to the continual professional development of teachers which will take place in three year cycles,” he revealed.

The Minister also pointed out that the Ministry had been “working assiduously” to improve the offerings of the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College.  “It is expected that next term, the College will be training a large percentage of our untrained teachers in an Induction Course. It will be conducted two evenings a week, over a six-week period. The College is also designing ongoing development courses that trained teachers can access,” he revealed.

Mr. Jones stressed that the Ministry’s main aim was to ensure that the highest standards of teaching and learning took place in the island’s schools. “As a Ministry, we understand the need to recognise high performance, address low performance and target the necessary professional development for our teachers,” he underscored.

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