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Monday 27 January 2020
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Garcia: Choo Kong was a great teacher

Raymond Choo Kong.
Raymond Choo Kong.

EDUCATION Minister Anthony Garcia called on principals and teachers to stand stronger than ever now, as recently the country has witnessed too many young people lose their lives senselessly.

He was addressing the launch of the Principal Leadership Series at Naparima College, San Fernando on Tuesday.

“We have also seen and confronted with the horror of losing one of our teachers, Raymond Choo Kong. I refer to him as a teacher as in the area of visual and performing arts: he stood out as one of the icons in this country in this field.”

He told principals and vice-principals he knows there is always a conversation surrounding the necessary tools to do the job.

“We are aware that you need resources and we have been working assiduously to provide you with these resources,” Garcia said.

Investment in information and communication technology (ICT), he said, is a key area of focus at present.

The ministry, he said has beentraining teachers and enhancing the ICT infrastructure in schools.

“We have also commenced the vacation repair programme to treat with challenges of the school, as the working conditions of the teacher are the learning conditions of the child,” he said.

It is important that we prepare the necessary infrastructure, he said so that schools will be effective learning and teaching environments.

He said he was happy to interface with principals, vice-principals as an investment in education is an investment in the future of TT.

“The launch of the Principals Leadership Series is a critical initiative that highlights the ministry’s commitment to quality access and equity in education in TT,” Garcia said, and will ensure all principals are offered equal opportunities and training.

After the ten-day lecture series, he hopes they will all work in tandem with the governance and administration components of the education policy 2017-2022.

That was one of the major reasons for convening such a training programme.

He asked each principa, vice-principal or school supervisor present to be committed and receptive to the information to be shared over the ten-day training period.

Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan and school-based management consultant Clare Telemaque reiterated that this critical training would trickle down to improve schools and benefit staff and students.

“Training at all levels is of extreme importance and we must continue to gather new information, as we live in a dynamic world as there are things that are happening around us that we need to know, otherwise we will be left behind,” Garcia said.

The government recognised the importance of professional training and professional development, he said, and this is why the ministry had invested in this project.

He said teachers will also be trained to ensure their competitiveness and relevance in the classroom.

“We are at a place now in education where proactivity and involvement and efforts have to be doubled to ensure that we are delivering quality education to our students.”

Principals and vice-principals from 134 government and denominational schools from both Trinidad and Tobago were at the launch.

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