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Teachers to be trained in how to teach the arts, dance and slow learners

Teachers to be trained in how to teach the arts, dance and slow learners


by Chanolde Munroe

Teachers attending the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU) Summer Institute this year will be educated on classroom principles to deal with literature, art, dance, mental disabilities and slow learners.{{more}}

Now in its fourth year, the Summer Institute is a partnership between the SVGTU, the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF), the Ministry of Education and the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).

Speaking at the opening ceremony at the Peace Memorial Hall yesterday, course director Vibert Lampkin said the workshop would expose teachers to different methodologies to enhance their teaching in the workforce. He also mentioned that continuing with the focus of the last two years, the workshop would better prepare teachers to deal with the needs of special education students.

SVGTU president Oswald Robinson, in his opening remarks, urged teachers to make full use of opportunities such as these, since in the present economic conditions, sponsors tend to divert more monies to Africa and the Indies. He also stated that the union is “committed to development and wish to have quality education and in doing so we need quality teachers.”

Robinson also mentioned that the SVGTU and the Ministry of Education have the same objectives when it comes to developing teacher education. He noted that students were not reading at their grade level, and teachers were not adequately equipped to deal with slow learners; hence; one of the objectives of the workshop is to sufficiently equip teachers with the tools to deal with these important issues. He re-emphasized the point that teachers need to be punctual, regular and have a professional work ethic.

He also mentioned that he would be travelling to Ottawa to represent the SVGTU at an International World Congress, to be held under the theme ‘Better Education for a Better World.’

Chief education officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist spoke on behalf of Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel, who was unable to attend due to illness. In her remarks, she reiterated the call by the union president for teachers to be punctual, professional and regular. She also advised that the information given to teachers in this workshop should be taken back to the classrooms and implemented.

Also in attendance at the workshop opener was representative from the BNTF Kenneth Douglas. This is the BNTFs fourth year as a sponsor of the Summer Institute. The BNTF’s focus will mainly be on Early Childhood Education, which will take place over a three-week period. He further stated that BNTF, although known for structural development, wants to also mould minds.

“The greatest way out of poverty is through education,” said Douglas, who added that he believes that if the youth are given the blueprint, it could serve them for years to come. He said on completion of the workshop, the BNTF would be checking to see if what was learnt in the workshop was being implemented in the pre-schools across the country.

Dan Martin, who leads a six-member party of Canadian teachers who are here to coordinate and facilitate the workshop, made it clear to the members of the audience that team work is what was going to make the initiative a success.

“United we will improve public education in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” he stated.

The programme will run from July 13 to August 3, with the early childhood education component running for three weeks and the primary and secondary workshops lasting two weeks.