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Teachers obtain first class honours

Teachers obtain first class honours


Two of this country’s qualified teachers have obtained Bachelor of Education degrees with first class honours from the University of the West Indies{{more}} (UWI) in a programme conducted by Division of Teacher Education of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.

Samantha James, a 34 year-old resident of Belair, obtained a Bachelor of Education degree in Literacy, while Derron Dennie, 33, of Kingstown Park, successfully completed his Bachelor of Education degree in Mathematics.

The programme, which ran for two years, was a franchised programme from the UWI and catered for teachers who had successfully completed their teacher training.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, James said it was the help of God and her husband that helped her to gain a first class degree. The Belair Government School teacher, who has been a trained teacher since 2001, noted that while it was a bit difficult to balance her work and studies, she knew that she had one goal in mind a First Class honours degree.

“I wanted to do a degree for a long time, but life got in the way. My mother took ill, I had a child and I was married. So when this program came along, where I did not have to leave the country, I gladly signed on…,” James said.

Meanwhile, Dennie, a Mathematics teacher at the Dr J.P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School, described his journey as “hectic”, but noted that he is glad to reap the fruits of his hard labour.

He said he welcomed the challenge of gaining a higher education, while educating students.

“We (he and James) helped to mould young minds; we still had to prepare work for our students and by 4 p.m., go to class and finish around 8 p.m…. So, it was challenging to have to do assignments late at nights and still do lessons for your students,” Dennie said.

With their degrees in hand, both teachers admitted that they are eager to impart what they have learned over the two year period.

As for James, she stated that gaining First Class Honours has made her come to the realisation that she has to even go further in her studies.

“It has really opened my eyes, but now I have to focus on my five-year-old daughter. I will definitely be going to do my Master’s degree in the future,” she said.

Dennie, who became a qualified teacher in 2008, graduated valedictorian of his class after completing the UWI associates degree – majoring in Science and Mathematics.

The Bachelor of Education programme was done on a part time basis with classes held three or four days per week, utilising face to face modality with all local lecturers.

The classes were held at the Division of Teacher Education and the programme was co-ordinated by the Dean of the division, Eula Adams.

Adams, in a statement submitted to SEARCHLIGHT said “The division is proud of the performance of the students in the programme, amidst the difficulties they experienced from time to time.”

Several other students were able to obtain honours degrees in either the upper or lower second class division, Adams said.

For the one-year Post Graduate Diploma in Education programme, which ran from July 2011 to May 2012, and is also franchised by UWI Cave Hill, 16 untrained graduates received their professional training in the Teaching of Science or Business. Fourteen of the 16 successfully completed the programme.

In another franchised progamme, this time for the Bachelor of Arts Guidance Counselling from the Jamaica Theological Seminary, 31 out of 33 teachers successfully completed the two-year program which ran from 2010 to 2012.

The release further stated: “The Division of Teacher Education, which is the premier teacher training institution in this country, is quite elated about the success of these teachers as we continue to do our part to enhance the quality of the teaching profession in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”