Those who attended the opening ceremony

The annual Summer Institute for teachers organized Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT) together with the Ministry of Education and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), has officially started for teachers of the Southern Education District.

This Summer Institute entails a series of sessions for teachers and principals that target the development of teaching capabilities at the primary and secondary levels of schooling.

Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Petter Saint Jean, stated that the training done at the summer institute will assist teachers in addressing a number of everyday occurring issues in the education system.

“The Ministry of Education has been focusing on what I can see as the most critical element of a solid education system, that of teacher professional development. We believe that if we are to address the issues that are confronting our nations, if we are to effectively deal with the problems that are affecting us here in Dominican, that our teachers must be fully exploited in order to produce a well rounded twenty-first century students,” he said at the opening ceremony held at the Newtown Primary School on Monday.

A team from the CTF was also present at the opening ceremony of the summer institute and will be assisting in the training of the teachers. The team includes teachers who are soon-to-be principals and teachers of their respective schools, and one who is experienced in teaching students with disabilities.

Saint Jean revealed that the Prime Minster, Roosevelt Skerrit, will be making provisions for training of teachers, which will be articulated in the upcoming 2017/2018 national budget address on July 27th 2017.

He added that the initiative of the DAT to establish this training program is commendable as it takes us a step further towards “transforming our local economy.”

“For us to transform our local economy, it begins and ends with a cadre of well-trained, well-paid teacher. I, therefore, wish to laud the efforts of the Dominica Association of Teachers for its sustained efforts at teacher professional development, and I want to take this a little further and say to you that the efforts that have been demonstrated over the past years…we must give all the commendation to your president on the executive for that tremendous initiative,” he said.

He charged the teachers at the ceremony to “maximize the opportunity” that has been presented to them and ensure that in the coming new term in September, the other education districts will be in high demand for a similar workshop as their own.

Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Melena Fontaine, said that the main reason for holding this institute specifically for the Southern District is to mitigate the challenges that come about because of regular follow up processes.

“The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development is pleased to support the DAT and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation this year. The focus on one education district was meant to adjust issues of follow up and follow through. We all recognize that workshops on their own do not make significant difference in school success. What makes the difference is the use of the information acquired at those training sessions and how it impacts on the learning of students in the classroom,” she remarked.