Elshot wants more “in-house” teacher training

POSTED: 06/25/12 2:58 PM

St. Maarten – President of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (Witu) Claire Elshot has rejected the notion that secondary school teachers who move here from other parts of the region are unqualified. She’s also pointed that it is “the education system’s” responsibility to ensure that primary school teachers are versed in Foundation Based Education (FBE).
Elshot pointed that teachers from the region very often get their education at a teacher’s training college that falls under either the University of the Virgin Islands or the University of the West Indies. That training puts them in a pool that annually marks the exams set by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
“How could these teachers who train the children on the secondary level and then are involved in the marking of the examinations in different parts of the region be labeled as unqualified when they return to St. Maarten,” Elshot queried recently
Later she’d add, “The problem that we have is that St. Maarten does not have an entire teacher’s training college and USM is still under the UVI. If you are under the UVI umbrella and the teachers come from the region how they could be unqualified.”
In terms of primary education Elshot has opined that all teachers from abroad, including those that come from the Netherlands, should receive FBE training if necessary.
“Teachers who come from the Netherlands may have the knowledge of the book but when placed in the class room it is a different story,” Elshot said.
Elshot’s overall solution for finding qualified teacher is “in house training.” She also believes that schools should inform teachers if they need to follow additional courses in order to meet national requirements.
The union leader’s statements form part of her wider concerns about teacher evaluation. She believes the discussion on that subject is going in an “insane direction.”

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