What attracted you to partner with LRTT?
We were attracted by the opportunity to bring 25 highly experienced teachers to Guyana to facilitate teacher training. But it’s gone to a much deeper level now. LRTT is expanding outreach to the isolated North West District on the Venezuelan border. It’s a lovely place. Also, we are partnering to offer a new Cambridge Certificate in Education Leadership for school leaders.
What is the Certificate of Educational Leadership?
We have been approved by Cambridge University to offer the course and Certificate in Guyana, which has been fully endorsed by the Ministry of Education. The Certificate is for teachers in leadership positions, such as headteachers, lead teachers and heads of department. The potential is fantastic; we will be partnering with LRTT on something far-reaching which will be developed across the country.
LRTT Fellows with local teachers in Guyana
How will teachers in leadership positions in Guyana achieve the Cambridge qualification?
The Certificate consists of 120 hours: 40 hours of lectures, 40 hours of directed reading, and 40 hours of mentorship. The LRTT Fellows will assist Nations in the mentoring of persons on the Cambridge Certificate, including in these small isolated villages by the Venezuelan border.
LRTT Conference in Guyana, bringing together international Fellows and teachers from Guyana
What sort of qualification levels are there currently amongst teachers in Guyana, and how will LRTT support them?
LRTT supports teachers in Guyana on two levels. Firstly, LRTT offers training to lots of teachers, many of whom are very inexperienced and working in extremely isolated and difficult conditions. Some of the schools that we’ll be going to in these isolated areas are schools of 40–50 students with only 1 or 2 teachers. And those teachers might be straight out of school themselves.
Secondly, LRTT will work with teachers who may have gone through teacher training college, to deliver the Certificate in Educational Leadership.
You recently hosted the Caribbean Conference on Educational Leadership. What was the conference about?
It launched the Cambridge Certificate. We brought together a really high calibre of people, including keynote speakers from Afghanistan, Argentina, England, Canada and the US. The conference reflected on the need for leadership in schools and how to drive school reform. Around 200 people participated and 100 of them want to sign up for the Cambridge Certificate. It was extremely successful.
School of Nations Conference on Educational Leadership Attendees from: Guyana, Ireland, U.K., the Gambia, Canada, Afghanistan, Iran, USA, and Argentina
How do you see School of the Nations and LRTT driving forward transformational leadership over the next couple of years?
I am optimistic because the Minister and Chief Education Officer are formally supporting the Cambridge Certificate. We hope to run these training courses all over the country. My passion is in education, so I’m glad to be doing something that has potential to transform the country. It’s difficult, because teaching here is very poorly paid, like most parts of the world.
The conference showed that there is a nucleus of people that, despite the limitations, really want to have a significant impact. The partnership with LRTT is very timely. LRTT brings about sustainable change, which is the hardest thing to achieve.
What are the highlights of your partnership with LRTT so far?
I’m impressed by the calibre of LRTT Fellows. They are good, sincere people with lots of experience. I’m glad that we’re working with them. Continuing to work together on a deeper level excites me.
Written by Brian O’Toole
Founder of School of Nations, Guyana
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