Thu | Nov 26, 2020

GC Foster College pledges to maintain PE standards

Published:Friday | September 11, 2020 | 12:06 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer
Wilson
Wilson

Western Bureau:

The coronavirus pandemic has forced students out of the physical classroom, and, as a result, there have been looming concerns over whether Jamaica will be able to maintain the 97 per cent pass rate in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) physical education (PE) examinations it achieved last year.

The G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport last Saturday hosted a webinar, ‘Practical Solutions, Embracing the New Norm in Physical Education’, in which it outlined practical solutions to ensure that the standard of PE remains high in Jamaica.

After the webinar, The Gleaner caught up with Principal Maurice Wilson, who said that he does not believe that the CSEC PE pass rate will be affected for this year and the future, despite the interruption in the practical aspect of the subject.

“No, not necessarily. I believe we have some of the most competent lecturers of physical education and sport in the world. With such competence, we have gone ahead in making arrangements for practical sessions from a virtual standpoint,” said Wilson, who also congratulated his PE department for what he described as a well-done webinar.

“I think we have a responsibility to Jamaica, from a sports and recreational, as well as a teacher educational, standpoint, to make sure that we equip our teachers to be the best in their area of specialisation in the world. We have aligned our programme with the CSEC and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curriculum to include STEM methodology, also, because we want our student teachers to be competent teachers both theoretically and practically,” he added.

Wilson noted that despite the pandemic, the college would continue to produce world-class teachers and coaches as it had put the necessary arrangements in place.

PRACTICAL VIRTUAL SESSIONS

“We do have the space to facilitate the teaching and learning environment. We are looking at maybe having two days to focus on practical sessions while taking all the protocols into consideration. We have virtual sessions from a practical standpoint. Because we are ahead of the game, we are not caught sleeping; we are able to plan ahead to make sure all the disciplines are taught with all the protocol being adhered to,” said Wilson, who also weighed in on how the institution will manage final-year students, whose practicum (teaching practice) usually lasts for the first term.

“We are a part of the teachers’ colleges of Jamaica, so we are guided by decisions made at that level. There will be a meeting soon to decide how we will deal with practicum because that depends on what happens with schools being reopened. However, as usual, we have tried to plan ahead of the game, for if schools are not reopened, we would want to at least get the student teachers to at least teach the theoretical component, and then we look at how we can organise sessions when things are sorted,” he added.

He continued: “In the interim, we can also upload videos of what we think are best practices and near to normal in terms of the practical teaching and learning situations so that the students can see it for what it is. With this, they can have some amount of understanding before the actual physical lesson is being taught.”