Posted: Thursday, October 14, 2021. 5:36 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is working on to improve the quality of education across member states through clearer alignment, coordination, and harmonization of standards for the teaching profession in the region.
With that objective in mind, 150 education stakeholders from across CARICOM held a virtual forum titled Quality Teaching and Learning: Conclave of Best Practices in CARICOM Member States on Friday October 8.
“The discussion saw a robust exchange of ideas for the professionalisation of teaching and for quality learning in CARICOM,” said a CARICOM statement.
The forum is part of the implementation of the project: Fostering Educational Quality in CARICOM – Establishing Regional Standards for Educational Practices, which is supported by the government of Japan, through the Japan-CARICOM Friendship and Cooperation Fund.
Through the project, the CARICOM Secretariat is pushing for Member States to align national standards to the CARICOM Standards for the Teaching Profession.
Consultant, Dr Barbara Reynolds, is leading the technical work with Member States.
CARICOM said Member States and Associate Members “are making significant strides, but at varying levels of progress, with Jamaica as the forerunner”.
CARICOM has established a Teaching Council which is charged with setting of standards and the regulation of the profession, targeted professional development, and guiding policy formation in relation to the wellbeing of teachers. But though a CARICOM Task Force on Teaching and Teacher Education was commissioned in 2010 to develop a regional framework to establish Teaching Councils at the national and regional levels, the work is still ongoing.
CARICOM said last Friday’s meeting “benefitted from discussions based on the experiences of Barbados, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Kitts/ Nevis, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos as in the pursuit of a quality education system”.
The Director for Human and Social Development at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Helen Royer, said there is a need for investments to strengthen capacities within the teaching profession.
“Quality teaching is not possible without the creation of enabling conditions at both the system and school level,” she stated.
She said the project concludes in December 2021 and that policy interventions will only produce the desired result through structures, which support connectivity and communication across the education system.
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