50 years of Church Teachers' College
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
MANDEVILLE, Manchester: WITH 50 years of service extended to educating thousands of individuals, Church Teachers' College on Wednesday launched the beginning of what will be a yearlong celebratory period for the Manchester-based institution.
The college, which began in September 1965 with 75 students and now has a population of more than 600 benefiting from training in early childhood, primary and secondary teacher education, owes its continued streak of excellence to a number of past students employed over the years and their willingness to carry on the legacy of the founders such as Bishop Percival Gibson.
According to past student and principal of the institution, Garth Anderson, the institution which has given sterling contribution to education over the last 50 years is ready for the next level.
"We are ready for that university status. We recognise that it is a process, it's not something that will come overnight, and so we have started some work ... we are building, we are ensuring our staff upgrade their skills and competencies ... we intend to deepen our collaborations with local and international universities to diversify our offerings," Anderson said.
He announced that the institution will soon break ground for a state-of-the-art science centre valued at J$150 million and securing land for a nursing school/wellness centre.
Issues to be addressed
Regional director at the Ministry of Education, Dr Nadine Leachman, in her address, commended the institution on the tremendous job done, but expressed that for teacher-training schools in Jamaica to be truly successful, some issues must be addressed
"We are still experiencing teachers who are focused on collecting the cheque and nothing less, and so you don't get the level of stewardship, and the teaching-and-learning aspect is affected ... another thing I consider a challenge where teachers' colleges can help to make a difference is the repositioning to make that connection with what is happening in society with respect to industry demand."
The celebration themed 'Celebrating 50 years of Excellence: Repositioning for the Future' began on Wednesday with a luncheon and panel discussion on the past, the present and the future, it will be followed by a commencement service this Sunday and a host of several other initiatives to the end of the year and beyond.