Concern over future of SALCC teacher certificate programme

The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) spokesman on education, Guibion Ferdinand,  has expressed concern about the future of the teacher certificate programme at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC).

The programme offers training to persons who want to become certified to teach at either primary or secondary school level.

Guibion Ferdinand told the Times that thus far he has  been hearing that the regular teacher training programme  is not being offered this September.

“At this point – we are in August, it is not being offered because there has been no enrollment, nothing going on – so it is clear  that this programme is not being offered this September,” the opposition Senator explained.

The former school principal said the programme has been offered for as long as he can recall.

“There may have been different numbers depending on the needs of the schools, but this programme has never been stopped for as long as I have known myself,” Ferdinand declared.

He said it was strange that the programme is being stopped completely.

Attempts  to obtain a response from the Ministry of Education were unsuccessful.

Ferdinand said he has recognised that much discussion is not taking place about the matter which he described as a serious issue.

He asserted that if teachers are supposed to deliver quality education, it is expected that they would be trained.

“Education is an area where you are dealing with very delicate people – children; minors, and you need to ensure that your teachers are trained, ” the Senator stated.

Ferdinand expressed the view that the effect of not having a teacher certificate programme would be that some who applied would not be able to get in to SALCC and would have no option but to leave.

He observed that school principals will give priority to trained teachers.

“As a former principal, if I had to choose between two persons with similar academic backgrounds I would go for the trained person – the person who is certified, and so it means that the teachers who are untrained and cannot get into Teachers’ College, they may have to find another job,” Ferdinand told the Times.

He added that untrained teachers will not be able to move up in the system because of not being certified.

According to the opposition Senator, the certificate programme also offers an opportunity for a teacher to develop personally.

He explained that once a teacher is trained, he or she becomes more marketable.

“Our teacher training programme here is among the best in the OECS so any teacher being trained here is not only being trained necessarily to remain in the school, it is a step upward for you as an individual,” Ferdinand stated, while noting that trained local teachers have found employment overseas.

He said it was short sighted on the part of the government to think that Saint Lucia has quite a few trained teachers.

“They are thinking about our local context but it really is necessary to look beyond just our local schools,” he observed.

Ferdinand explained that the regular teacher certificate programme at SALCC usually runs for two years, offering training in psychology and other areas as well as practical teaching skills.

He said there is also a research component where participants are required to write a thesis.

Ferdinand said the programme is recognised by the University of the West Indies, with between forty and eighty trainees in each batch.

“I can understand if the numbers are cut because of implications for cost but education has to be a priority,” Ferdinand declared.

“I need to ask the government: Where does education fall on their priority list as a developing country?'” He said.

The opposition Senator stated that the labour party introduced universal secondary education and made it possible for tertiary education to be accessed.









  1. Anonymous
    August 8, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    I understand what is being said but it really puts people like me at a disadvantage…I had to stop the program because of financial difficulty and now I am may not get job as a teacher ..I plan on finishing next year…there are a lot of trained teachers in our schools who do not perform and on top of that they get in the 80 and 90 score for appraisal…has our officials ever consider that? Do our officials ever step into the schools to see the kind of teaching being done? I will say no…from the time I started teaching I have not seen not one official….I no of teachers who are always out and on their own business and the children are not being taught properly yet these so called trained teachers still have their jobs and get good marks else they wud not b teaching….sad situation for ppl like me who have to struggle to reach to the top

  2. Jabal
    August 9, 2017 at 7:40 am

    The Associates Degree shouldn’t be stopped. the should just find ways to have persons easily upgrade to a bachelor’s degree from there with two additional years of schooling.

    1. Ah di Teacher
      August 9, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      This already exists.

  3. Anonymous
    August 9, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Considering they stopped giving salaries and jacked up the price , I’m not surprised. Its only offered in the north of the island. I live in Laborie and would love to enroll but have so much busdare, I also have four kids, how can I do that? I’m young and have the prerequisites.

  4. Anonymous
    August 9, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    The person bad talking trained teachers, gave u ever taught? Do u know the pressure these teachers are under? When u finish ur training I hope u do better. Who feels it knows it

  5. Anonymous
    August 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Let me tel u something anonymous..I am not bad Talking teachers…I say wat I have seen with my two eyes…it not any hear say…..n read clearly to understand…I am not bad talking those trained who actually do their job…dnt u think that’s a bit ridiculous? And yes I have taught…didn’t u read wen I said from the time I started teaching? SMH…..

    1. Anonymous
      August 9, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Hope you don’t teach students to write like you.

      1. Anonymous
        August 9, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        lol i agree…….

  6. Paying Attention
    August 9, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I know of several schools where the minimum qualification of staff is the first degree and that includes schools in the rural areas. Teachers are upgrading themselves. I am certain, that I also read somewhere, earlier this year, that the DTEEA programme would be re-examined and improved. Maybe its time it became an online programme with a longer internship period. However, if I am paying attention to my field well enough, this was a long time coming. The minimum is fast becoming, a first degree which will be offered at DTEEA.

  7. Anonymous
    August 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    No I went teach students to write like me…this is social media…wat do u expect? I guess u shud b in the classroom to see and then u can judge wats really going on… some of u ppl undermining those who try to make it to the top and seeing those with brother mother friend and father getting thru…like I said this ain’t no hear say…why not question what exists instead? It is an observation that I am making….no one called or messaged me to say anything….

  8. Anonymous
    August 9, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    THis government has no plan for our young people who want to educate and develop themselves professionally …

    1. Anonymous
      August 10, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Of course, young people can go guy’s wife hospitality school to learn to be waitresses and bartenders. With all the new hotels coming in, they need local low paid staff to do hard labor while bringing in foreigners to be the managers.

  9. Ah di Teacher
    August 9, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Just when I think that we cannot do any worse as a nation, they prove me wrong. Clearly we are regressing and not progressing. To say the least, I’m not surprised at this news. After all, isn’t the government closing schools ?? So one should think… why the need for more teachers? However they see the need to build hotels left right and center as if that’s all our people deserve… To be the slave for white men. Oh, and one more thing! I guess more hotels equates to more cash flow for Guy’s wife “hotel based” school. Me roro.

  10. Anonymous
    August 9, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I agree with the last two persons….at least who feels it knows it…being a victim of this whole thing is really depressing…..who sees it and feels it definitely knows it….but still trying to hold my head up high amidst all this

  11. Anonymous
    August 10, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Same goes for the nursing program but you Wont hear about that

  12. Anonymous
    August 10, 2017 at 9:47 am

    These so called trained teachers that are teaching our children in today’s world, are so badly trained, that they are destroying our children’s capabilities, morals and values.
    Some of them know very little and yet still they are our children’s educators. Some of them whom may know something , do not have the ability to deliver to our children.
    Some of them should not be allowed around our children. They make the learning environment very unhappy and unfriendly. They abuse the children verbally, and physically which will definitely lead to emotional abuse. The worst of all is the support that these so called trained teachers get from their principals; the very high appraisal marks.
    Their principals becomes their Macorcotte, and you know what Macorcottes do.

    Children are subjected to these kinds of behaviours and characters for decades, the strongest children may do well, but the weaker ones will definitely be destroyed.

    This teacher training program must be taken back to the drawing board. Teachers should not only be evaluated academically, but an intensive background check must be done (from childhood to present). Their behavior in society, their associations, did they come from abusive homes, are they in abusive relationships, etc.
    The trainers who train the teachers must also be evaluate.
    The principals must take their rightful roles and stop being Macorcottes. Some of them are down right lazy.

    1. Boodoof-baf
      August 10, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      So because I came from an abusive home… don’t teach ????? Matter of fact don’t work! … you really block head! They raffle u eh ? Doe lie! …

      1. Anonymous
        August 11, 2017 at 11:57 am

        Matter of fact u change….dats wat u will teach dat kids? Maybe u took part in da raffle…idiot….SMH….

  13. Anonymous
    August 10, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you very much anonymous….this is wat I have been trying to say from my very first comment….and is teachers like me who try are the ones being discriminated……if we speak truth as if we are victimized by other teachers jus like us….alot of them dnt care abt the students I can tell u….as long as they have a job and friend or principal can take make them keep their place to them it’s ok…. children are continuing to fall thru the cracks…the officials them selves do not even come into the schools to know wats happening….there are students who can do well…I know that but trust me a little encouragement and care helps them… I said I not talking on hear say…I am talking on wat I see and know…..I can’t understand why someone wud see me as negative wen I am bringing the issue to light…..poor jab the children of this country….