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Screen_shot_2011-07-20_at_6.20.44_PMIn our education system teachers play a critical role, tasked with developing and fostering appropriate skills and social abilities to enable the maximum development of the student. To accomplish that job they not only need to follow a Ministry approved curriculum but they also need to know how to use that curriculum and build a plan according to the age, ability and aptitude of the student. To prepare teachers the Ministry of Education started offering a Certification in Primary School Education at the primary level. The program runs every summer and the workload is crammed into an intensive 6 weeks. This year the CPED program is taking place at the Louisiana Government School. Our news team was there and filed the following report.

Yari Catzim- Reporting

With the aid of University of Belize professors the Ministry of Education is carrying out the 3rd CPED program for teachers in the Orange Walk District. The program is being coordinated by retired educator Armando Leiva.

Armando Leiva- Coordinator CPED

“The program started in 2009 and currently we have the third cohort which cover twenty eight participants, the previous two cohorts first and second had a greater number and we had in each cohorts two groups, the first group graduated in January 2011, the second cohort will be finishing the academic part of it at the end of August and then in September they do the last part which is the internship in the classroom.”

The idea is to ensure that teachers learn the skills to develop appropriate plans and methods of execution to effectively cover the curriculum.

Armando Leiva- Coordinator CPED

“The purpose of the CPED is to give them the pedagogy that is needed for them to be better teachers. I am very happy about it because it is filling in a gap in the teaching profession, we have seen the result of pasts PSE exams and we don’t do anything it is going to get worse.”

28 primary school teachers are presently attending classes here; so far they have been covering topics such as “nature of the learner,” and “methodology in teaching.”

Armando Leiva- Coordinator CPED

“It entails all education subjects, it has to do with the nature of the learner, introduction to education, methodology in teaching particularly science and mathematics, they do both content and method, they also do managing the multi grade classroom because quite a number of teacher especially in the rural areas teach more than one class and they also work with the curriculum.”

Leiva told us that for the near future they expect that all teachers will be certified to be hired in the teaching profession. This will ensure that the use of instructive strategies is up to par and therefore guarantees a better quality education to the student.

Screen_shot_2011-07-20_at_6.20.16_PMArmando Leiva- coordinator CPED

“It’s a temporary thing because after a while most teachers who are currently teaching without the pedagogy will be qualified and in the future people who don’t have pedagogy will not be employed. It is not something new in the past before we had associates degree people we had quite a number of teachers who were called first class teachers and they were not trained so what Government did at that time they brought in these older teachers to get the training and at that time it was two years at the Belize Teachers College and one year internship. The academic part was packed into a one year program to bring up those teachers so this is something that has happened time and again when Ministry realizes that there are too many teachers in the system who may know the knowledge of content but they don’t really know how to teach effectively.”

The certification program ends on the 12th of August. After the teachers complete the program they will go through an internship before they are certified.

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