Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, presenting Denise Blackman with her award for being the most outstanding student in the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) programme. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has advised scores of teachers to pursue professional development as a means of enhancing their personal identity in this noble profession.

He made this observation last Saturday while addressing the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College graduation ceremony at the Frank Collymore Hall.

Noting that in any vocation there must be a dedication to professional development, the Prime Minister added that the teaching service was still regarded as an important profession by Barbadians, who expected the highest professionalism from them at all times.

As a consequence, Mr. Stuart pledged government’s commitment to facilitating their professional growth at all levels.

"Given the importance of teachers and teacher administrators to all areas of national development, the extent to which such practitioners engage with a positive process of professional development must also be a matter of enduring interest to decision-makers.

"My own concern about professional development of our teachers goes beyond the simple transmission of information in the classroom.?? I am interested in the extent to which the investment in professional development, leads to adaptation and positive change in teaching and learning activities and to positive adaptations in the administration of teaching, to meet the requirements of nation building," he surmised.

He further stated: "Professionalism and professional development must, therefore, be seen not as a static state but as a process – a process that has both the individual and collective dimensions.??In this context, then, the educator is never a finished product of the excellent processes at Erdiston, or any other teaching institution, but part of a continuing cycle," he emphasised.

Mr. Stuart reminded the graduating class that teaching is a?? developmental process in several phases both in and outside the classroom and pointed out that "the teacher or the teacher administrator must be a reflective practitioner, one who continues to acquire more knowledge through continuous reflection on the journey past, and on the journey which still lies ahead".

During the event, a number of special awards were presented to some of the graduates for their outstanding achievements.?? However, Yolanda Greaves, who also achieved Distinction in the Theory and Practice of Education, was adjudged the Valedictorian.


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