SOEd & Education Minister discuss teacher education in SI
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From L-R: Dr Mesake Rawaikala, Deputy Head of SOEd, Honourable John Dean Kuku, the Solomon Islands Minister for Education and Professor Govinda Lingam, Head of the SOEd at USP.
Teaching and education issues confronting the Solomon Islands was the focus of discussion between The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Education (SOEd) and the Honourable John Dean Kuku, the Solomon Islands Minister for Education at the Laucala Campus on 16 February 2018.
Hon. Kuku attended the USP Finance and Investment Committee (FIC) prior to the discussions and according to Professor Govinda Lingam; Head of the SOEd, their meeting was a success.
The SOEd is currently assisting Solomon Islands with the training of unqualified teachers, having completed training in the Lata Province recently and are currently completing training in Makira Province. A majority of the teachers undergoing training are from the primary schools.
Professor Lingam briefed the Minister on the roles and responsibilities of SOEd in the region especially with respect to teacher education.
“The SOEd is keen to help Solomon Islands and other countries in the region to raise the quality of teaching in schools by offering them appropriate teacher education programmes,” Professor Lingam said.
He informed the Minister that SOEd has teacher education programmes for all levels of education including Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) for early years of schooling, right through to a Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching (PGCTT), for those teaching at the tertiary institutions.
Professor Lingam further stated that another interesting development is that the SOEd has most of its courses on blended and online mode of delivery.
Hon. Kuku commended the SOEd for the quality of its programme and shared his experiences while he too was a distance and flexible learning student when courses were mainly available in print mode.
“In those days, things were difficult especially not receiving study materials on time and problems with sending assignments but now with online it has become very easy,” said the Hon. Minister is a USP education alumni from the 1980s.
“I am delighted to be here today and to talk to you about further assisting Solomon Islands with the training of teachers in other provinces as well.
“I am pleased with the quality of education and training provided by SOEd and our Ministry of Education wants SOEd to continue with this initiative,” Hon. Kuku said.
The Solomon Islands Ministry of Education will confirm the number of teachers needing formal teacher education and the proposed venues to enable the SOEd to plan the delivery of programmes in other provinces.
Professor Lingam thanked the Minister for visiting SOEd and assured him of high quality delivery of teacher education programmes in Solomon Islands.
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