(NATCOM)Basseterre, 14 November, 2017:: -Focal Point of the International Teachers’ Task Force Mrs. Carla Mills-Diamond has stated that she is now looking forward to sharing information gleaned at the 10th Policy Dialogue Forum of the International Task Force on Teachers held in Lome (Togo) on 18 – 21 September, 2017.
Ms. Diamond having been afforded the opportunity to attend via sponsorship of UNESCO’s Teacher Task Force Secretariat said it was a welcome gesture given her active involvement in the thrust to make teaching a profession in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Given that the theme of the forum was Teaching: A Profession; Ms Diamond stated that she was able to glean very critical steps in the way forward to achieving this objective locally.
The Forum discussed a common understanding of the current state of the professionalization of teaching and how to formalize teaching as a profession; took stock of progress and shared good practices in order to develop a global set of core standards for teaching; and promoted collaboration and networking among stakeholders on further research and advocacy at the national, regional and global levels.
Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO Mr. Antonio Maynard said the Federation’s participation in the meeting was critical as far as informing the implementation and monitoring of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4.c).
“We will continue to support participant in relevant international activities that lend themselves to the strengthening of Teaching as a profession,” Maynard emphasized.
Ms Diamond informed, “A major concern has been the quality of teachers supplied as the world seeks to increase the number of teachers in pursuit of the achievement of SDG4. As such a priority at the forum was to develop the concept of a ‘professionally qualified teacher.”
The Teachers Task Force Focal Point said she would endeavour to assist the process in the Federation by way of the development of mechanisms with the support of stakeholders to develop such a teacher.
She added that such as teacher will be expected to help students to be creative and critical thinkers; collaborate and communicate with people of diverse cultures and shape students to be innovators while advocating for environmental and social justice.
One means of implement, support and monitoring teacher quality suggested by the Forum was that governments regulate the minimum level of formal qualifications required to become a teacher.
This would include a formal accreditation or validation process that certifies that an individual has knowledge, skills and wider competencies according to specific standards which describe what teachers should know and be able to do.
Ms Diamond stated that in the Ministry of Education’s planned roll-out of its Sector Plan on Friday November 17th, she is heartened that several components of the new framework allow for the professionalization Teaching. This includes desirable levels of performance at different stages of a teacher’s career which will give rise to defining and measuring teaching competence with respect to the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are valued in a profession.