In a ceremony on Friday, 20 March, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, in conjunction with the TA Marryshow Community College (TAMCC), was finally able to certify participants of the Shortwood Diploma in Education Programme.
Mr Cecil Johnson, Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at the TAMCC, who gave an overview of the programme, said, “The Programme started in 2007 and ended in 2010. It was a 3-year programme, which was sort of crammed into just a little over two years. The programme was undertaken, when it was realized that there was a definite deficiency in the training needs, undertaken in the preparation of teachers in Grenada.”
Johnson said that teachers were being trained at the certificate level for primary and secondary schools, but similar training was not done for teachers at the Early Childhood level. Therefore, the Shortwood programme endeavoured to train two groups of teachers, from 2007 to 2009 and from 2008 to 2010. Both groups had high pass rates during the course.
A total of 49 participants were enrolled in the Shortwood programme, 42 of whom completed successfully, with 6 persons receiving honours and 4 being referred for further training. Mr Johnson noted that some teachers, who were referred, would be afforded the opportunity to complete courses leading to a Bachelor’s Degree, from Shortwood, with the assistance of TAMCC.
Johnson said this programme was one of the best teacher education packages, in terms of teacher preparation, being an extremely intense course. Students went through rigorous assessment, during the practicum, and Johnson therefore commended them for their outstanding performance.
Minister for Education and Human Resource Development said, “We must understand that the foundation of our education system begins at the early childhood level and, if you are building a house, you have to start with your foundation and, if the foundation is not a solid foundation, everything else will collapse and, therefore, we must accord the highest level of recognition and importance to our early childhood teachers.”
Mr Johnson thanked teachers from the Early Childhood Department, of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, for delivering some of the courses in the programme. He encouraged the participating teachers to continue giving their best to their students and to the education system in Grenada.