“We are looking at the reform of the curriculum; starting from the ECCE and the primary school (level); this is a document that will be discussed fully by Cabinet in a matter of weeks.
So every effort is being made to ensure that the curriculum delivery in our schools is of a very high standard.” “You will be charged with that responsibility,” Garcia told teachers, “because it is important for all of us to know that we have a responsibility in ensuring that the curriculum is delivered in the way that it should (be).” The minister was speaking on Wednesday during an orientation session for beginning teachers at the MIC Technology Institute, Macoya where more than 250 new teachers were welcomed to the profession.
During the two-day event, new primary and secondary teachers not only received their letters of appointment, they were given information by ministry officials to help prepare them for entry into the classroom.
Garcia’s advice included remembering “a teacher touches the future.” The ministry, in a statement, said Garcia told the teachers they must be aware that “students are conscious of everything a teacher says and does noting that learning takes place both academically and interpersonally.” The orientation session is an introduction to a two-year programme to ensure the most competent teachers are placed in classrooms.
The ministry’s Teaching and Teacher Development Division will conduct the programme with the involvement of the Curriculum Planning and Development Division, School Supervision and Management Division, Student Support Services Division and other ministry units.
Regarding the teaching of local history, Garcia said a report is currently before Cabinet from the committee that was appointed on January 20, 2016 to develop a foundation textbook on this country’s history.
“That report will be sent to all of our schools in a short space of time, so that our students will be able to have a fair knowledge; from the perspective of persons in our country, of how we have grown and how we have developed over a number of years,” Garcia stated.
That committee was chaired by Professor Theodore Lewis, who was also appointed chairman of the committee tasked with reviewing the ECCE and primary school curriculum.
Speaking at that function last year, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had said the establishment of the committees was an effort to make the nation perform better. On the development of a history textbook, Rowley had said it was important that the accurate version of local history be taught to children.
“If we don’t teach our children the proper and accurate version of our history, other people, some of them not meaning well, can teach the revised version according to their agendas, and that is unacceptable in the development of any nation,” he said.
The Prime Minister proposed two textbooks, a ‘lighter’ version for children and another for secondary and tertiary students.