A total of 1,796 teachers graduated from the Cyril Potter College of Education on Wednesday.
This is not only the largest cohort of teachers to ever graduate from Guyana’s only teacher training college, but also the largest cohort of graduating teachers in the Caribbean.
This is another step towards the Ministry of Education’s goal of having 100 per cent trained teachers in classrooms across the country. This moves the country’s trained teachers from 65% to 79%. This means that 99.5 per cent of teachers in classrooms are either trained or in training.
Four hundred and seventy-seven teachers graduated from CPCE’s Early Childhood Education Programme, 841 from the Primary Education Programme, 238 from the Secondary Academic Programme and 240 from the Secondary Pre-Vocational Programme – a total of 1,796 trained teachers.
Of the graduates, 66 graduated from the Trained Teachers’ Certificate Programme, while the remaining 1,730 graduated from the Associate Degree Programme.
Addressing the graduates, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand urged the newly graduated teachers to add value to every child that they come into contact with as they advance their teaching career.
She noted that 87 per cent of the graduating teachers are women. More than 20 per cent of the graduates are from the hinterland and riverain communities, while 35 per cent of the teachers are from Region Four, 11 per cent from Region Ten, 14 per cent from Region Three and 12 per cent from Regions Two and Six. Some 238 trainees are graduating as Secondary Academic teachers, 78 per cent are English trained, 75 per cent are Math trained, 35 per cent are Science trained, 31 per cent are Social Studies trained and 9 per cent are Spanish trained.
Delivering the feature address, Prime Minister of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips emphasized the importance of trained teachers in the classroom. He reiterated the Government’s commitment to fostering quality education by investing in tangible initiatives including improving educational facilities, expanding the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education, enhancing TVET facilities, and increasing scholarship opportunities, among others.
Meanwhile, CPCE Principal, Noella Joseph, urged the newly trained teachers to be professional in the execution of their mandate to educate and nurture the nation’s children.