Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2023, 22:04 by Denis Chabrol
Teachers in Guyana, who successfully complete Online courses for their continuous professional development, will eventually be considered for promotions and increased salaries, Chief Education Officer (CEO) Saddam Hussain said.
“We hope we can connect it somehow to the promotion system; the senior promotion system in the country for senior teachers,” he told the virtual launch of the programme at the weekend.
Mr Hussain also said planners hoped that the CPDP would eventually see teachers earning more as part of an evaluation process. “We hopoe that it will be part and parcel of the appraisal system and also that there will be- and I am sure this is the most exciting part- some financial incentive attached,” he said.
He added that the Ministry of Education hoped to link the Continuous Professional Development Programme (CPDP) to the issuance of permanent certificates from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) “rather than having to go through the hassle of applying and then moving through a very difficult bureaucracy.” According to the CEO, officials were also considering use of the CPDP as a “pathway” of accrediting the Master Teacher process and an entry requirement for education management.
Mr Hussain said the Education Systems Committee is due t0 meet this week to discuss implementation of the CPDP being executed by the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) and then issue documentation to the teachers that “this is the direction we are going.”
The Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) has endorsed the CPDP, saying the courses would help teacher stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their areas of competency and bridge their knowledge gap. “The Guyana Teachers Union hereby embraces Continuous Professional Development, the CPD, because it means academically improving and enhancing teachers’ careers and also their potential,” said Deputy General Secretary Heathcliff Peters
The Online learning platform, Moodle, the training of lecturers and trainers were provided by the Commonwealth of Learning.
NCERD’s Director Quenita Walrond-Lewis said there are seven certified course developers who could teach teachers to create courses for the Moodle space.
She said teachers could now improve their practice without necessarily attending university or seek out courses elsewhere. “We are here to provide you with quality professional development in a plethora of areas that you can take from the comfort of your own home,” she said. The courses, she said, are also geared for those who had attended CPCE or the University of Guyana as CPD for teachers is necessary “to improve your practice over time.”
COL Consultant for the CPD project, Jamaican Dr Schontal Moore, who helped NCERD to develop and design 24 Online courses during six months of intensive training.
She said 22 officers were first assessed to determine their Information Communications Technology (ICT) capacity before they were trained in designing course content by reconfiguring face to face material, ensuring their are flow, navigability of content in Moodle, interactivity and learner engagement. “Basically, when you look at these 24 courses, which I am sure you will get a chance to preview and peruse the platform, you will see that the courses have a particular look and feel to them; very professional, well done and also you can see that in the execution of the courses as they are taught, they are rolled out through professional development that persons will take away substantive information and content with them,” she said.
Education Specialist Dr Olato Sam indicated that technological improvements now allow for equitable delivery and access to continuous professional development “in all parts of this country.”