Persons seeking to enter the teaching profession in the near future will first have to undergo training before setting foot into a classroom.????

Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, signaled this today as he addressed the official start of the Academic Year 2013-2014 of the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, at that institution on Pine Road.

Telling the new recruits to courses that include the Diploma in Education and the Associate Degree in Education, that they were in for “a new experience,” Minister Jones said: “You are still attached to your schools; but all of that is going to change over time; it has to change…persons who will be entering teaching in the future would have already been trained at Erdiston College.

“Not because it cannot be afforded; in fact, right now we can’t afford it; because to bring persons out of the classroom and to train them is a tremendous cost…to tax payers and to the State. So, it is best to bring them from wherever they are, fresh right into [Erdiston] College, train them as teachers and then put them into schools.”

Admitting that he was praying it would happen soon, Mr. Jones declared:”There are some constraints but we have to quickly work through those constraints so that they would leave school – Sixth form classes, [Barbados] Community College, wherever they are and come straight [to Erdiston College] to be?? trained as teachers.

“Unlike you, who enter the classroom with your various qualifications and are now coming to be trained, the students of the future will have trained teachers coming straight to them. So, count your-selves among the lucky ones because as you are [being] trained you are being paid.”??

Currently, persons are recruited by the Ministry as teachers and are placed in the system before getting the call to enter the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College.?? For the one or two years of study which they undertake, they receive a salary.

Stressing that not many countries in the world had provided this training opportunity to teachers, the Minister said: “You must be trained first to go into the classrooms of those countries and they don’t pay you to get trained. In truth and in fact, you have to pay to get trained.”

And, he alluded to the cost of such training in the United States of America. “A credit hour could be $800 or $900 per credit hour; you are doing a Bachelor of three years maybe $120 credit hours; multiply that by 600 and convert that into Barbados currency $125,000… if it is a Masters, a one-year or two-year and you have to do possibly about 45 to 48 or 60 credit hours at maybe a $1,000 per credit hour… You pay first and then you come into the classrooms,” Mr. Jones added.

The Minister further reasoned that not many countries paid for persons to study their first, second or doctoral degrees and he reminded teachers that a first degree in Humanities/Social Science could approximate to $100,000; in medicine to over $500,000 and in Law, a little higher than Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences.

Minister Jones said: “The point [that] I am trying to make is that this country, over time, has made an absolute commitment to its citizens and sometimes that commitment is not reflected in duty.’

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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