GC Foster and Sam Sharpe TC forge sporting partnership
The St Catherine-based G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport and Sam Sharpe Teachers' College, in St James, have forged an alliance to change the way physical education courses are taught in Jamaica, through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), yesterday.
The MOU signing between the two tertiary-level institutions was done at the Montego Bay campus of the Sam Sharpe Teachers' College. The plan will see both institutions sharing a set of new programmes as well as faculty in a bid to bolster sport-fitness courses both at the academic and physical levels.
"This partnership is something that we feel will encourage enrolment and young people to recognise that sports is a business," said David Mais,, chairman of G.C .Foster.
"The students who are being enrolled are coming in with their high standard of high school education, will see sport as the opportunity it is. So the way forward is to find ways to fully utilise our facilities at G.C. Foster and Sam Sharpe Teachers College," added Mais.
The 45-hour short courses to be offered at the start of the new school year at both institutions will include sports massages, fitness instruction, programme writing, and recreation, among other areas. The courses will be done throughout the work week or on the weekends.
The institutions, however, will, over time, introduce a number of advanced programmes to include bachelor degrees.
"Initially, it is going to be the academic side because we have to make a start, but the possibilities are endless," said Norman Reid, chairman of Sam Sharpe Teachers' College.
"Of course, there will be a constant upgrading of the teaching certification, particularly for those teachers who were trained, years ago and who are working in the primary-school system. Some of them are still diploma trained and they now have the possibility of getting certification at the first-degree level here at Sam Sharpe," added Reid.
Reid further noted that sports in western Jamaica is changing, which is evident in the activities going on at Rusea's High in Hanover and Petersfield High School in Westmoreland. He said this partnership would open up the doors for the west to become a powerhouse in sports once again.
"So this is what we want to do. We want to start at the academic side, where we upgrade our coaching staff, we focus on sports medicine, the other sports not getting attention, and we bind everything together so that the west becomes really dynamic in sports," added Reid.