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Teachers Urged to Utilize Free Educational Offer

9th February 2016

The Minister of Education, Science and Technology is appealing to public school educators to make use of the offer by his ministry to upgrade their qualifications at the government’s expense.

Minister Michael Browne, speaking at a Thanksgiving Service on Monday said the move by the government to upgrade all teachers is a monumental task, but it will be done. The offer by the ministry is to pay the full tuition for studies leading to a Bachelor’s Degree in Education or any Education related field.

Last week, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) to facilitate the process. According to Minister Browne, space is available for a cohort of about 50 teachers to enrol in programmes that will be taught in Antigua. However, he has expressed disappointment that not many educators seem to be capitalizing on the offer.

The minister told teachers if they are do not wish to submit their requests to their principals; they can approach the ministry directly.

“Teachers you have a challenge. If you do not want to send it (applications) to your principals or to your E.O, I will announce it now; take your application directly to the Ministry of Education and drop it off to Mr. Browne’s secretariat,” Browne noted.

The offer of free study will be extended exclusively to public school educators for a period of time, before it is opened to private school teachers.

Public school principals will also be given the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications to the Master’s Degree level in Educational, specifically in the areas of supervision, instruction or administration, according to the minister.

The upgrades are necessary especially since it was revealed that a teacher’s license will be introduced. This is a requirement for educators throughout the United States who must be the

holder of a Bachelor’s Degree and the completion of a teacher education programme. Additionally, Minister Browne stated that with talks about to begin with the Union of Teachers regarding remuneration, the need for upgrades is even more important.

“I have invited through the president the Union of Teachers that in our next quarterly meeting, come to the table prepared to talk about teaching license, and with that an attachment of increased remuneration for public school teachers and administrators. In order for you to be prepared, you must start your studies now,” he told teachers.

Contact: Phil George Communication Officer