The three-year programme offered through the Teacher’s College within the T A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) has been suspended for this semester, as only four teachers met the qualifications.
“You cannot run a class with four persons and at the same time you cannot break the rules to accommodate additional persons,” said Minister of Education and Human Resources Development, Hon Emmaline Pierre, in a local newscast.
As TAMCC re-opened September 15 to some students, out of the 60 applicants, including IMANI trainees, only four teachers have permanent status within the educational system, which is a key criterion for the programme.
Minister Pierre said permanent status is a criterion because those teachers will receive a Government scholarship to pursue their studies and will be bonded for two years upon completion.
However, expressing her belief that being permanent should not be a criterion and that one must first go to Teacher’s College before entering a classroom, Hon Pierre said this semester will be used to review the policy and educational framework at Teacher’s College.
The review will look at the criteria to enter the programme; the programme’s duration, as there have been complaints that it is too long, and the content to ensure that all teachers succeed and are capable of making a difference when they return to the classroom.
On a local newscast last week, President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Marvin Andall, expressed disappointment with this development, noting that some teachers have been employed for over 10 years and are yet to be made permanent.
He noted that there are about 300 teachers holding temporary positions and pointed out that this impacts their socio-economic development because they cannot obtain a loan to advance themselves.
This, he described as “injustice,” and called on Government to revisit the criterion of being permanent to enter the college, as well as to make temporary teachers permanent.
At the end of the programme, teachers obtain a certificate accredited by the University of the West Indies (UWI).