SOEd hosts Practicum Dialogue with secondary school teachers
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Secondary school teachers and the SOEd Practicum team at the Laucala Campus. Standing on the far right is Professor Govinda Lingam, Head of the SOEd.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Education (SOEd) hosted over 20 Suva Secondary School Principals and school representatives for a Practicum Dialogue on 16 May 2018.
In his opening remarks, Professor Govinda Lingam, Head of the SOEd stressed the importance of healthy and strong partnerships with all relevant stakeholders like School Heads and Associate Teachers, Teacher Educators and student teachers to ensure a meaningful and rewarding practicum experience.
Professor Lingam explained that the purpose of the meeting was to consolidate the partnership SOEd has with schools with regard to their student’s professional experience during their various teacher education programmes.
“It is during practicum that SOEd students have an opportunity to practice their teaching skills and experience school life generally and Fiji secondary schools, and in particular Suva schools, play a very important role in welcoming our students into for practicum experience,” Professor Lingam said.
SOEd students spend up to 17 weeks in schools being mentored by Associate Teachers who are chosen for their experience and capacity to share expertise with student teachers.
The dialogue proved to be an important occasion to share common goals and concerns in mentoring SOEd student teachers.
“For the SOEd practicum team, the dialogue gave an opportunity to explain to principals some major changes that are currently being made to USP’s Practicum programme.”
These changes he stated, include sending students out into schools more frequently across the span of student’s degrees.
Although the overall time of 17 weeks in schools has not changed, the period has been broken up into smaller modules so that SOEd students can better focus on specific teaching skills during each occasion.
Professor Lingam said the dialogue was a success and SOEd now plans will to repeat the session in Fiji’s other major centres of Nadi, Lautoka and Labasa.
“We hope that these dialogues will become an important feature of SOEd’s overall Practicum programme because the opportunities they provide for building stronger partnerships with Schools in the preparation of quality teachers, is extremely significant,” Professor Lingam added.
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