NEWS

Ministry Raising The Bar For All Aspiring Teachers

“We have many teachers, particularly secondary who are without jobs. So, this is a good time to be selective when enrolling students in your teacher training programmes.”
22 Oct 2021 12:04
Ministry Raising The Bar For All Aspiring Teachers
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Premila Kumar (left), during her visit to Rampur College in Navua on October 21, Photo: Wati Talebula-Nuku

A degree in teacher training will no longer guarantee a person a teaching job.

This was revealed by the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Premila Kumar during the College of Humanity and Education leadership workshop held in Pacific Harbour yesterday.

Ms Premila highlighted that she was concerned with the number of disciplinary cases of teachers the ministry had received.

“Teacher training institutions are especially important in the education of our children. The teachers you train, teach and shape the lives of our children at every stage of their development,” she said.

“I will have to say that the quality of teachers from all teacher training institutions has not been up to expectations.

“Today, we have many teachers who have poor communication skills both oral and written.”

Ms Kumar asked those present if the training they provided has changed with time to reflect the changes that were going on.

She added that it was important to get the right students for the teacher’s training programmes.

“I am told that those students who cannot get into other programmes normally opt for teachers’ training programmes. If this is the case we are starting at the wrong place,” Ms Kumar said.

“Our programmes should attract the best students. If the admission requirements of teacher training programmes are raised, you are likely to get better students, create more competition and raise the standard of teachers.

“For next year’s TSLS awards, Government has raised the eligibility criteria or teacher training programmes to 300. We are hoping to see better students opting for these programmes.

“We have many teachers, particularly secondary who are without jobs. So, this is a good time to be selective when enrolling students in your teacher training programmes.”

 

The job tests

As such, the ministry is changing the structure of job tests that teachers will have to go through before they are employed. This will start next month.

Ms Kumar said teachers would have to sit for a test and then the ministry would carry out interviews before they were employed.

“I want to seriously think about raising the admission requirements in the teaching programmes, by increasing the requirement for English language and even consider a specific GPA for students to move from one year to the next,”Ms Kumar said.

“Teachers should be able to provide the ministry with support in a number of areas, for example, they can write books, create learning resources, especially e-Learning resources, set up private coaching or tuition centres.”

She said the ministry is working on revamping the entire early childhood education (ECE) subsector, revising the primary, followed by the secondary curriculum from next year.

“We intend to not only revise the content, but make the curriculum dynamic, inquiry-based and enabled by using ICT tools,” Ms Kumar said.

“We will introduce civic and moral education to nurture a balanced person, with a strong sense of moral values, good interpersonal relationships, one who will contribute to the wellbeing of society and the nation, and eventually to the world at large.

“And for this, we are creating a curriculum in civic and moral education, which we want our students to take from ECE through to Year One unless this is continued at tertiary level.

“Professional development for teachers is very important. Today, we see that once teachers have the basic teaching qualification they generally do not upskill, As part of their teacher registration we expect Fiji Teachers Registration Board to put conditions of continuous professional development for our teachers. This is required by law.”

The College of Humanity and Education leadership workshop ends today.

Feedbackwati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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