The success of the Institute of Education will depend on the policies of the Ministry

File photo: Harrigan-Underhill.

Sandy Harrigan-Underhill, director of the new Institute of Education at H Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), said the success of the institution will largely depend on the kind of support and policy development it receives of the Ministry of Education and the College.

Appearing on the Umoja radio show recently, Harrigan-Underhill said her experience as principal of Elmore Stoutt Secondary School – which has the largest fraternity of teachers in the territory – underscored that the BVI has some educators well trained in specific areas. content areas.

She said some teachers may have degrees in accounting or marketing, but may not have had any training as educators. Therefore, the role of the Institute of Education is to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to identify such individuals and put in place a program based on the standards and requirements jointly agreed by the two institutions.

“As to what this standard looks like, it is [determining] what we want them to learn, what do we want them to know and when do we want them to know it. So all of this needs to be defined in a joint collaborative approach. As I sit and work daily in my new role, I won’t do much without the voice of the Department of Education,” Harrigan-Underhill said.

Policy will determine what the Institute does

She also noted that because the institution is new and starting from scratch in teaching educators, people should be aware that politics determines much of the work the institute does and will undertake in the future.

“[This is] Department of Education policy as well as from the perspective of the HLSCC. We also have to keep in mind that policies need to be in place, and I’m sure they are being worked on right now to attract the best,” Harrigan-Underhill said.

“It starts with the recruitment phase. So we recruit according to an established standard. The requirements should be based on, for example, you must have a bachelor’s degree and you will also be awarded a certain amount. We must also address the question of salary and remuneration while we are talking about training. All of these things go hand in hand,” she added.

We must be prepared to pay our teachers well

Harrigan-Underhill said she could sit at her desk and create the “most fabulous, eloquent and engaging” training program, but it had to be guided by the necessary resources and support. She reiterated that recruitment is an essential part of the functioning of the institute and that it is relevant that some kind of standard is maintained.

“So it’s not just about saying we want the brightest and the best, but also making sure they get paid for their skills,” she said.

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