President of the Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT), Celia Nicholas has made a strong call to the government to review the ways in which teachers are being recruited on the island.
She said teaching has to do with a passion for the profession, and as such should not be based on likes or the receiving of votes and individuals should not be placed in the classrooms if they are not ready to be there.
“The way we are recruiting our teachers, again I ask the Ministry of Education and the Chief establishment Department to review the way we are doing our recruiting,” she said at the opening of the annual Summer Institute opening ceremony held at the Convent High School on Monday. “We are also telling the Minister for Education, as a politician that we stop putting individuals in the classrooms who are not ready to be in the classroom. It’s not who we like, who we don’t like, who will vote for us, who will not vote for us, it is who has the passion for the profession.”
She stated that once a teacher has the passion for the profession, he or she will do what they have to do to get students to learn.
She noted that people are getting the notion that teaching is so easy that anyone can do it but that is not the case.
“If we are really and truly teaching, we cannot say that teaching is an easy job,” Nicholas remarked. “We need the training, we need the support and we need the right individuals in the teaching profession.”
She advised teachers who do not intend to remain in the teaching profession, that they should “start looking elsewhere.”
“If you intend to remain in the teaching profession, let us get trained to do the job which we have to do,” Nicholas said.
She mentioned also that the workshop will focus on professionalism.
“We know by analysis and research and by economic analysis that if we do not have a well trained and a well-tutored population what happens to the economy of the country,” she said. “The growth and the wealth of any country they are linked to the level of education of its individual.”
The Summer Institute/Workshop, which will run for two weeks, is being organized by DAT, the Ministry of Education and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF).