More qualified teachers needed, says ECC report
Data from the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) has revealed that 10,000 facilitators of learning exist within the sector. However, of that number, only 2,263 teachers have received formal training through teacher-training colleges and universities.
Education Minister Ruel Reid, who shared the latest numbers with The Gleaner on Tuesday, admitted that there was urgent need to ensure that there were more qualified teachers within the sector.
The numbers showed that 13.8 per cent have been trained at the diploma level, 7.7 per cent at the degree level, while 1.1 per cent have received training at the master's level.
At the same time, 4,252 facilitators have received training from HEART Trust/NTA, representing 42.6 per cent of the cohort.
"This means that 3,485 personnel within the ECIs (Early Childhood Institutions) are without any formal training ... ," the report said.
Reid told The Gleaner that the ministry was working as quickly as possible to ensure that only trained teachers were hired within the system.
"We are creating more infant schools and departments where we will hire only trained and qualified early childhood teachers."
Trisha Williams Singh, chairperson of the ECC, told The Gleaner that the majority of the early childhood institutions were privately owned. "... What I am recommending, and what I am working towards, is to create a partnership where we have training by HEART," she said.
"We are saying to these teachers, take up the training. What we are saying as a Government, work closely with us. We recognise that the fees are a lot, so partner with the HEART Trust/NTA to get training. As a Government, we have to work faster at creating more infant schools and infant departments," she advised.