Education Minister says teachers not needed…WOW!

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Dear Editor,

Please allow these comments to be posted on your site. I am so upset with the Ministry of Education and the manner in which decisions are made.

Okay…. so why is there always a disconnect or rank levels of miscommunication in the Ministry of Education. With long-time COB persons such as Elma Garraway as PS among others, I am shocked by Mr. Bannister’s comments.

Don’t get me wrong, I am the first to agree that our education system is in a disastrous state. However, for the Minister to announce that the MOE has no more places for General Studies teachers in their schools is such a crock of …….

Anyone who has any knowledge of Teacher Education programmes worldwide knows that elementary school teachers are granted degrees in General studies or Elementary Education. This enables the teacher to teach ALL subjects including Math, English, Science, P.E., Music etc. It has always been known that specialists in primary education often major in Music, P.E, Computer Technology. As I am aware there are no degrees offered by COB (which now offers only a Bachelor’s Degree in Education) for primary specialists in any other subjects. Specialist degrees are only offered for high school teachers.

Therefore as stated by COB’s Education chairperson, the MOE once again has misstated the facts. They have provided 87 students with full four year scholarships and now you tell them you do not need them in your schools. You speak against the General Studies Degree that you mandated your college to offer as if it is some lazy degree. Trust me as a COB grad, State of New York Certified Teacher, Canadian Master’s Degree recipient, I can attest that the programm at COB if it is the same as it was 1984-1987, is as strenuous as they come. It is a joint program overseen by the University of the West Indies.

I am appalled that the MOE once again is misunderstanding the problems that exist. I could go on forever but in a nutshell, the MOE needs to adequately determine what the educational needs are then they need to address COB as to what their Teacher Education Programs need to address.

For students to specialize in Math or Language for Primary schools, they would have to create new Bachelor’s Degree programmes to deal with this. Having attended one of the foremost universities in NY specializing in Teacher Education, and being in constant contact with this university, there are currently no Education degrees specifically tailored towards specializations in these two areas. While there are Literacy degrees, these are not offered by COB. How could our government be so wasteful….millions of dollars spent and now you tell the students you do not need them as teachers. WOW!

Hope I made sense because I am so angry with this Ministry and their lack of ……EVERYTHING!

In addition, doesn’t Mr. Bannister know that these students are bonded by contract to work for the Government of The Bahamas for four years in lieu of the scholarship granted to them? When I was bonded, four persons had to sign my bond and agree to repay if I did not return to work for the government.

What a way to learn that the job you thought was guaranteed does not exist! Now you take Trained teachers with Bachelor’s Degrees paid for by the government and hand them to the private sector…WOW! Also teachers in private primary schools are also generalist degree teachers okay!

Signed,

An Upset Educator