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Teachers need more than incentives 

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 15, 2023 – As the debate about teacher retention continues Curriculum Development Officer Elsiann Delancy says the solution may be simpler than mountains of incentives. Speaking as part of a March 7 expert panel on Teacher Retention in the Turks and Caicos Delancy admitted that while incentives do make work sweeter, research and her own experience had proved that there was more to it. 

“There are three (3) factors that really speak to teacher retention: Individual factors, work factors–” she continued “and what I think is the most important: socio organizational structure.”

 Delancy explained that individual factors covered how the teacher was functioning on a personal level, whether they were burnt out or stressed; struggling with personal issues that could render them unable or unwilling to continue in the profession. 

For work factors which can be influenced by the government include whether or not student to teacher ratios are manageable, teachers stress levels in the classroom. The state of the school and whether it was conducive to learning was another issue she quoted along with the availability of learning resources.

The Organizational structure of schools which the curriculum officer says is among the most critical of concerns, whether or not teachers are satisfied with the structure and whether the work environment is one that supports teachers’ free expression and creates an aura of ease.

“It’s also looking at the leadership of the school and whether the teacher has some kind of autonomy,” she said.

Delancy referenced a recent study which she said supported her arguments. 

“It looked at teacher retention in the US, Bahamas and Jamaica and what they found was incentives played only 13 percent but the overarching factor for teacher and job satisfaction and retention spoke to whether the teacher was satisfied within the position and whether they had any kind of autonomy and control over what they taught.”

She encouraged the government to try to come up with different strategies to meet these fundamental needs before adding more incentives. 

Caribbean News

Efforts to deliver education to Children in Haiti – Schools still closed

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Education, April 9, 2024 – With schools across Haiti still shut down due to intense gang violence, UNICEF is making efforts to deliver education to students, working with the Ministry of Education. They are trying to deliver distance learning through radio, television and e-learning platforms and right now, solutions are being explored through Haiti’s national radio station. Announced in a press release by UN News on April 7, this comes as UN agencies warned that Haitian children are suffering from not just a lack of education but also primary exposure to violence.

 

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Education

MEMBERS OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ATTEND ASCD 2024 CONFERENCE

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The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Education proudly announces the successful participation of its esteemed members at the prestigious Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) 2024 conference in Washington DC. The delegation, comprised of Education Officers, Principals, and specialized teacher groups, showcased their dedication to excellence in education and commitment to staying abreast of cutting-edge methodologies.

The conference, held from March 22-25th 2024 served as a platform for educators worldwide to converge, exchange ideas, and delve into the latest trends shaping the educational landscape. Among the driving topics that garnered significant attention were Universal Design for Learning (UDL), differentiation strategies, and the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in educational practices.

The delegation from the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Education had an enriching experience at the ASCD 2024 conference, participating in discussions and workshops on Early Childhood, School Safety, UDL, differentiation, and AI technology has equipped them with invaluable insights and tools to enhance teaching and learning outcomes in their schools.

The conference provided a forum for educators to explore innovative approaches to curriculum development, instructional design, and student engagement. Members of the delegation seized the opportunity to network with international counterparts, fostering collaborations that will further enrich the educational landscape of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The ASCD 2024 conference was said to be a truly enlightening experience. The team returned home inspired and empowered to implement new strategies that will cater to the diverse needs of our students while harnessing the potential new skills and technology to personalize learning experiences.

Hon Taylor Minister of Education added ” I commend and fully support our teachers’ participation in the ASCD 2024 conference. Investing in professional development opportunities like this not only enhances the skills and knowledge of our educators but also contributes significantly to the ongoing development of our human capital. The returns on this investment directly impact our educational landscape, fostering a more dynamic and effective learning environment for all stakeholders involved.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Education extends its gratitude to ASCD for organizing a dynamic and impactful conference and looks forward to continued collaboration with educators worldwide to shape the future of education.

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Caribbean News

Media Release: St. Nicholas University Champions Diversity in Caribbean Veterinary Medicine

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St. Nicholas University School of Veterinary Medicine (SNU) is implementing a targeted initiative to increase diversity within the veterinary profession in the Caribbean, focusing on attracting and supporting students from the Caricom region. This effort addresses a documented and drastic lack of diversity in the regional field, where Caribbean, Black, and Minority individuals – often from lower-income communities – are significantly under-represented. This under-representation can limit access to veterinary care for diverse communities.

SNU has established several programs to address this disparity. Their Veterinary Medicine Scholarship Program offers financial assistance specifically to Caricom students with academic merit and a demonstrated commitment to serving under-served communities.

Additionally, the university’s Mentorship Program pairs incoming Caribbean students with experienced Caribbean faculty members, providing them with guidance and support throughout their academic journey. These programs are resonating with students from under-represented backgrounds. An Aboriginal/Black student from the USA, Will B., exemplifies this. “After graduating from SNU I plan on returning to the U.S and starting an outreach program in an effort to show under-represented groups in my community that becoming a veterinarian is possible with universities like SNU, no matter how unlikely it may seem in their world” – he explains.

SNU’s commitment extends to faculty recruitment. The university actively seeks to recruit and retain Caribbean faculty members, creating a learning environment that reflects the real world of veterinary medicine.

This dedication to diversity has garnered international recognition. Recently, a delegation from the Jamaica Veterinary Board (JVB) visited SNU in Dominica to assess the program. “I see an emerging university that is propelling change for our region. We are impressed by SNU’s focus on inclusion, and that is the message that will be taken back to our board and to the Government of Jamaica” said Dr. Mattocks, a JVB representative. This assessment will help simplify St. Nicholas University graduates register as veterinary professionals back home.

“We are working to increase the number of veterinarians willing to serve in under-served communities,” says Dr. Naderkhani, President of St. Nicholas University. “We also emphasize additional qualities in our future veterinarians, such as compassion for animals. This, in turn, can contribute to improved veterinary care quality in various low-income communities.”

SNU students volunteering at St. Nicholas Animal Rescue to send rescued dogs on a Wings of Rescue flight to their new homes.

Despite ongoing efforts, SNU acknowledges the persistent challenges regarding diversity and inclusion within the veterinary profession. Systemic barriers, such as limited access to educational resources and financial constraints, can disproportionately impact students from many Caribbean backgrounds. The university recognizes the need for collaborative efforts to address these issues and works with external organizations to dismantle these barriers.

St. Nicholas University believes that a diverse and inclusive veterinary profession is essential to providing exceptional care for all animals and their companions. Through its commitment to attracting and supporting Caricom students, fostering a diverse faculty, and partnering with relevant organizations, the university strives to be a leader in promoting positive change within the field.

With the application period for the September 2024 class now open, St. Nicholas University invites passionate Caricom students to explore their veterinary dreams. To apply, visit www.snu.vet.


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