A two-year University of the West Indies (UWI) Teacher Education Certificate Program at the T.A. Marryshow Community College is offered to train pre-primary and primary education teachers.
Additionally, teachers are provided with specialized early childhood education training at the SERVOL in Trinidad and Tobago. One year is spent at the institution; the second year is an internship program supervised by the ECU staff and other supervisors from the SERVOL. A certificate accredited by Oxford University is issued at the successful completion of the program. The program is jointly funded by the government and SERVOL.
Workshops of one to two weeks’ duration are usually conducted two or three times a year. Teachers are selected and invited to attend these workshops, which are normally held at the Teacher Training Centre. Topics are chosen based on needs which arise during instructional supervision and the courses are taught by the ECU staff. Generally, the workshops/seminars organized by the Ministry of Education are conducted on an ongoing basis for varying categories of teachers with different interests. These usually run for periods of one day to one week. Occasionally, a few teachers attend regional or extra-regional seminars/workshops. Recently, the training is in keeping with a thrust by the Ministry to refocus the schools’ curriculum to accommodate a more holistic development of students. Refocusing involves giving equal emphasis to not only academic subjects, such as mathematics and English, but also to studies in areas such as arts, culture, sports and tourism.
The Ministry, which has committed itself to the establishment of a more inclusive schools’ curriculum, is also organizing a six-week training program for educators involved in teaching children with special needs at the pre-primary and primary levels. The program is expected to enhance the trainees’ knowledge, skills and understanding of inclusive and special education. On completion of the training, teachers will receive a professional development certificate.
Training for principals, educational advisors and other educational staff are provided through the following avenues: periodic short-term workshops/seminars conducted locally or through sub-regional initiatives; medium- to long-term training ranging from three months to three years in external educational institutions (universities).