OECS Prepares to Launch Professional Development Model For the Region’s Teachers

(EMU) – St. Kitts, June 5, 2018: The Launch of the OECS Professional Development Model on Thursday June 6th is the culmination of a four day mission fin which the OECS brought together teachers and stakeholders from the Region to provide training towards further consultation on the proposed teacher development model.

Lisa Sargusingh-Terrance, Reading Specialist with the OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme explained the efforts of the OECS. “We want to change the approach to professional development. Generally, it was traditional in the sense that it was primarily workshops. It was sometimes arbitrary based on what a principal or school would decide their teachers need. We now want for professional development to be based on the teachers: The needs of the teacher; lead by the teacher; driven by the teacher. In that way, we think our teachers would see all the possibilities for growth and will not rely completely on their principals, ministries or other agencies to come in and help them grow professionally.”

Participating teacher from the British Virgin Islands, Shaniqua Henry-Vanterpool said she was enthused about the new focus of the Professional Development Model. “Teachers want to know that whatever is being offered as professional development is going to be guided not only by the data that is presented but also by our interests and areas that we need to be empowered ourselves,” explained Ms Vanterpool.

Director of Education in Montserrat Dr Gregory Julius, who is participating in the four day activity, said that in order for the model to have the impact envisaged it would take a multi-pronged approach. “First and foremost Directors and Chief Education Officers need to ensure that policies are in place and teachers need to have an understanding that it is part of the process and therefore training and development will not be a problem.”

Dr. Julius further stated, “It’s a matter of making sure the provisions whether hard or soft are in place to support teachers at different levels of professional growth. This is a mechanism that can help to promote that growth and where teachers are deficient then you provide support.”

Also on hand at the event, which is said to have impressive representation by stakeholders, was Principal Rita Carty from Anguilla who referred to the training and consultation as timely and relevant. “It helps to establish an accountability measure for current efforts, but we will have to make sure that we have the direction and commitment to ensure that it is not only launched but successfully maintained in our region so that the benefit of successful learners can be achieved,” stated the principal.

The actual launch of the Model will take place on Thursday at the Jack Tar/Royal St. Kitts Hotel at 6pm. In attendance will be representatives of the OECS Secretariat and Early Learners’ Programme as well as Education Ministry Officials and Educators from the Region as well as the Caribbean Teachers Union, all of whom are partners in the endeavour.

Also present at the event is Rafer Gordon Education Specialist with the OECS/EDMU (Education Development Management Unit).

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