A leading University of the West Indies (UWI) official is pleading with regional governments to invest in training of early education teachers.
Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Joint Board of Teacher Education (ECJBTE) Dr Babalola Ogunkola Tuesday expressed concern that only four of the seven member countries have students enrolled in the associate degree programme in early childhood education.
Dr Ogunkola, UWI’s director and senior lecturer in science education and evaluation, argued that investments in high-quality early childhood education had several long-term benefits, including higher adult earnings for programme participants.
“I call on all governments across the Eastern Caribbean to invest more on the training of early childhood education teachers. Let us remember that early childhood education is the foundation upon which other levels of education are built,” he said in welcoming delegates to this year’s Eastern Caribbean Joint Board of Teacher Education meeting at the Shell Suites of the Cave Hill Campus.
Dr Ogunkola lamented that between 2011 and 2015 “there . . . [were] many more primary school teachers enrolling for associate degrees in education than early childhood or secondary TVET [technical and vocational training].
“There is urgent need to have more trained teachers in early childhood education, TVET and other secondary education programmes,” he stressed.
He revealed that 625 teachers had enrolled in the ECJBTE primary education programme during the five-year period, while only 79 had enrolled in the TVET programme.