By Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- CAPSS chair calls for radical commitment in era of advancement in technology
- Teaching benefits derived from adaptation of new technology should be embraced
Chairman of the Grenada Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (CAPSS) Dominic Jeremiah has called for a more radical commitment on the part of the teachers to move students into the 21st century in an era of advancement in technology.
Dominic Jeremiah is the leader of a 9-member delegation of educators in attendance of this year’s 27th Biennial Conference of The Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“I think that we have to understand that technological innovation does not always mean more gadgets or equipment. What is needed is a radical commitment on the part of the teachers, principals, and policymakers ensure that we are not left behind,” said Jeremiah.
There were delegations from St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, Jamaica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, The Bahamas, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, Barbados, St Kitts Nevis and Guyana.
Jeremiah said there is an expectation that participants can adapt what they have learned about the need to incorporate technology in today’s teaching methods.
“Expectations of this year’s conference, I think the principals from across the Caribbean have come here looking for ideas as to how to use ICT to ensure that we reach all the children that we teach. We are also looking for creative ways to merge the traditional pedagogy with a new methodology to present content in a more creative and student-friendly way, and lastly, we are looking for ways to prepare our students for the 21st century for whom ICT opportunities have not been created as yet in this information technology revolution.”
Speaking on the threats that advancement in technology can create especially with regards to the CSEC Math 2019 cheating scandal in Trinidad and Tobago, Jeremiah said there also must be systems in place to ensure its safety and security.
However, he said these challenges should not deter the region from embracing the benefits that will be derived from the adaptation of new technology to advance teaching methods.
“The development of technology has more advantages than disadvantages. However, the negative potential must never deter us from moving ahead with the new vision of infusing our education system with technology. We must not fail in our efforts to create a culture of helping our teachers and students to use technology responsibly. These habits must be cultivated at an early age. We must continue to put structures in place to safeguard against the tendencies to misuse and criminal inclinations. However, these must not deter us from moving forward with this ICT vision for the region.”
He added, “Our government must be commended for the ICT infrastructure that is currently being laid for some of the technological processes to take place. However, with the move to electronic exams and marking, we have to be committed to ensuring that our schools and college are ready to embrace the technology, add new technology and start using the technology in our teaching and learning.”
The conference which started on Monday, 22 saw speeches from Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonzales, whose stirring feature address called for the need to ensure connectivity within the Caribbean region, and strongly reminded the audience that for the regional educational system to continue to grow and develop there must be a focus on providing quality instruction to each child as each government continues to provide quality support to teachers and administrators.
During the opening ceremony President of the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, Curtis Greaves, spoke on the theme significance in this technological era. He also emphasised that the world is experiencing a paradigm shift, and principals of the various secondary schools throughout the region must understand how to adapt to that shift.
He was followed by Minister of Education, the Honorable, St Clair Prince who reminded the delegates about having a regional commitment to education.
St Vincent and the Grenadines last hosted the CAPSS Conference in 1990.