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Mico Student Teachers Encouraged To Support PEP

Chief Matriculant from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Nikita Danville (second left) meets with Deputy Pro-Chancellor Dr. Ryland Campbell (left), President of the MUC Dr. Asburn Pinnock (centre) and Guest speaker, Principal of Cumberland High School Darien Henry (right) after the Matriculation and Welcome Ceremony held at the Mico University College on September 30.

Principal of Cumberland High School, Darien Henry, has encouraged student teachers to join the national discourse and to support the Primary Exit Programme (PEP) which he says is here to stay. He was talking at the Matriculation Ceremony held last Sunday at the Mico University College on September 30.

The Mico graduate who was guest speaker at the symbolic ceremony told students not to join the negative discourse surrounding education. “Much has been said for instance more recently about the national examination for primary school students I want the Mico and the Mico students to be front and centre of the public discourse don’t get caught up in the negativity, it’s not bringing us anywhere.”

Henry continued, “I want for you to bring your voice of reason and your voice of leadership. Pep is here to stay. The country has to reboot its curriculum ever so often, if it doesn’t it will get left behind and right now the discussion is, where does Jamaica stand in future economic development. Teachers you have a place to play so I don’t want you to get caught up in the negatives about PEP, PEP has to be.”

In addressing the rapid migration and shortage of teachers, he recounts experiences of his colleagues, one principal losing 13 teachers in one year and another describing principals as ‘harbour sharks’ in searching for teachers. He encouraged the teachers in training to stay and build their country. “Remain in your country, to advance the future of your country. I’m going to plead with you, especially you first years as you prepare to take on the mantle of what pedagogy is all about. Stay and build your country.”

A section of the matriculants who attended the ceremony

The Cumberland High principal in combating the arguments of teachers not being paid well, which he says is true but is not limited to Jamaica, also articulated inspiration to the students present. “If you are going into teaching because you want to make money, it is the wrong profession. But if you go into teaching with a burning passion and fire and a thirst for knowledge and a thirst for developing our country, teaching is where you belong.”

He added, “I want to see more men in this profession, the country needs it. There needs to be far greater incentives to get more, strong, intelligent, bold men in teaching that is how we are going to make that strong impact on our country.

Mr. Henry left the matriculants with the charge of being distinguished members of the educational community remembering their true purpose as teachers.