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Jun 20, 2013

Teachers complete course in Early Childhood Education

Today is the final day of an intensive five week basic teachers training course at the early education or preschool level. Participants were selected from every district and include new and experienced teachers, who will be graded on the work they have done during the course. The Quality Assurance Development Section of the Ministry of Education is coordinating the workshop which is being held at the ITVET in Belize City. Mike Rudon attended class and files his report.

 

Nadira Ross, Quality Assurance Development Officer

“The course that’s happening presently and today is the last day, we are doing a early childhood education basic teachers training course and the whole point of the training was primarily geared to people who have interests in early childhood. And what we found and the course even serves as a requirement for your teacher’s license. And what we found out was that we have people in the classrooms who are not equipped with the basic knowledge of early childhood. So we had to go in, get them and train them.”

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Nadira Ross

Nadira Ross has been a part of the five-week course and testifies to just how intensive it has been. But despite the hard work involved, she says it has been a successful achievement for both the Ministry and the participants.

 

Nadira Ross

“It has been overwhelming. When you get to speak to the ladies, you will hear the enthusiasm in their voices, they have over the past five weeks gained so much knowledge that they will take back to their classrooms. And that in of itself will impact the children that they will encounter. But it’s been sleepless night and you will hear that. We had so much to do; we had deadlines after deadlines, but all in all, it was great.”

 

Lucelli Hill

Lucelli Hill, Paraiso Government Sunshine Preschool

“I believe that this training should be given to teachers at the beginning of their career before they do enter the classroom. This training is very crucial because it helps us to set a good learning environment in early childhood which to me is the most important stage in education life of a child or a person. This is the foundation; if we do give a bad image of what education is that is what the child will take for life.”

 

Nadira Ross

“We dealt with brain development, professionalism because it is all about who you are. You have to know who you are and how you do things. We focus on literacy, we focused on the basics for early childhood education.”

 

Eva Aranda, Big Falls Preschool

Eva Aranda

“Coming here is just adding more to what we have already learnt. It is reinforcement and it makes a great difference. You learn that there are certain techniques that you can change, that you can use to make a difference especially when it comes to intellectually challenged children. At preschool we do not cater for them so now we know that we need to sue rough surface if they have visual problems and they can use it and recognize numbers. So all of that we need to incorporate into our teaching.”

 

Today officials from the Ministry of Education wandered through the room, checking out the simulation classrooms, but while the setting was a simulation, the passion of these preschool teachers and their love for the work they do are very real. Rosalva Segura has been teaching for ten years and is an advocate for early education.

 

Rosalva Seguro, Destiny Preschool, Georgeville

“This has been an enhancement for us and you know as teachers we always learn; there are always new information that we grasp and I’m truly advocating for early childhood. And we all know that early childhood is from birth to eight years. So we really need to do some campaigning to reach out to many people out there.”

 

Rosalva Seguro

Eva Aranda

“You need to love children; you have to have love of self. And if you do not love yourself, you cannot impart that love to other children because children come from different backgrounds and you need to have that patience, understanding. You need to listen so that you can be able to be there for them because when they reach at school, you are the mommy, you are the daddy. So you have to have to patience and love for children.”

 

Rosalva Seguro

“It takes a lot of patience and like you said passion because without that, we lose it all. So it is very important to engage ourselves and have the children engaged in different activities at school. So certainly I agree that you need to have a passion for this job.”

 

Azalea Uk is also taking the course. She teaches Infant I in San Jose in the Orange Walk district because there is no preschool there, but the course has enforced her firm belief that it is absolutely necessary.

 

Azalea Uk, San Jose Government School

Azalea Uk

“In my community, there is no preschool so when they come at the infant one, it is kinda difficult. We take a longer time trying to develop their motor skills: cutting, coloring and it is a very challenging job. So this year, hopefully we will get our preschool and so that’s why we take this course. Whatever I taught here, whatever I learnt here, it will be for my own benefit and for the benefit of my children.”

 

With the passion in place and the skills to match, these teachers are now asking the Ministry of Education to give them their degrees in early education since many of them have found their vocation at that level.

 

Lucelli Hill

“I would appeal to the Ministry of Education to somehow get involved in trying to have some teacher program—I know Belize City has it, but it is not out district—where teachers who really have a passion for early childhood remain in the preschool center. So we want to educate ourselves. We are qualified teachers. We are teachers with experience. We are teachers that have the passion for preschool, but there is nothing set for early childhood degree in Belize. And let me tell you that even though we do not hold that degree, nowadays teachers—like one of our instructors shared with us—teachers are earning a degree without temperature. We have the temperature; we only need the degree. And I want to leave Belize with this…Teachers need to work on their whole person so that they become whole to develop a whole student.”

 

The training course is a yearly initiative from the Ministry of Education, and it is one they hope to take countrywide. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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