AMONG the reports on Budget 2017 that was announced recently, there was one on the future of the existing 27 Teacher Training Campuses (TTC) in this country.
According to a Bernama report, the Education Ministry explained in a statement last week that nine of these teacher training campuses would be turned into vocational colleges or polytechnics in line with the needs and expansion of technical vocational education and training. Two would be transformed into Permata Development Centres while the others would remain as TTC and would continue to take in new teacher trainees.
Primary and secondary school teachers can expect more continuous professional development (CPD) courses from next year in the TTCs.
CPD courses are vital for in-service teachers in line with the Education Transformation Programme. CPD courses are aimed at equipping teachers with the latest techniques and teaching methodologies and exposing them to critical thinking skills, innovations and higher order thinking skills which they could use when conducting lessons.
Hopefully, coordinators who conduct CPD courses, seminars and workshops for in-service teachers will deliver challenging and innovative presentations and content that will provide participants with an enriching and enlightening experience.
Among the reasons most teachers cite for their dread in attending CPD courses are the nature of the courses and poor course presenters.
To address these problems, the course coordinators should select and appoint presenters who are well versed with the content required. The presenters must be experienced, thorough in their knowledge of content and proficient in their delivery.
Some courses that can be considered for English in-service teachers are How To Train Children for Public Speaking Competitions, Spelling Competitions, Choral Speaking Competitions, Story Telling Contests, Essay Writing Contests and Debating Competitions and How to Organise English Camps, Educational/Field Trips, English Day/Week Activities and English & Nature Games. Information technology (IT) courses would also be a breath of fresh air to teachers.
Finally, organise courses that will train teachers to be markers for the respective papers in examinations such as UPSR (Year Six), PT3 (Form 3), SPM (Form 5) and MUET/ STPM (Form 6).
Such courses will expose teachers to examination marking techniques and how examination scripts are graded and this will help them guide their students on how to answer and score during examinations.
Courses that are conducted for teachers must be relevant and based on their needs analysis so that they will be enriched and in turn enlighten their students in the teaching and learning experience. Samuel Yesuiah The STAR Home News Opinion Letters November 1, 2016