The Dominica Association of Teachers or D.A.T. held its Seventeenth Annual General Meeting at the Garraway Hotel on Wednesday April 3, 2013 under the theme, “The future of the teaching profession in the Caribbean.”
The meeting was addressed by Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Hon Petter Saint Jean who stated that the D.A.T. has an excellent track record as a representative for the island’s educators.
“Over the past years, the Dominica Association of Teachers has certainly demonstrated a profound understanding of its role, a professional body, or I should say a ‘truly’ professional body charged with protecting the best interest of its members. However, I feel obligated to say to you that the future of education to say the least, poses even more interesting challenges. I believe that the DAT must be commended for the role that it has played over the past years in ensuring that it does not just give representation to its members but that it has served a truly professional role in the development of teachers nationally.”
Minister Saint Jean expressed a need for what he called a cohesive voice to speak for teachers in Dominica.
The featured speaker at the association’s meeting was Dr Morella Joseph- the Caricom Secretariat’s Programme Manager for Human Resource Development and a former teacher.
Dr. Joseph delivered a presentation on the future of the profession in the Caribbean and she listed a few needs of the profession regionally.
“It needs to be regulated in order to maintain high international standards. It requires the requisite, professional and academic skills, the mechanisms that support quality assurance in the teaching profession; being able to be registered and licensed and have the qualifications able to teach, being involved in continuous professional development; these are all the mechanisms we are referring to. These are necessary in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning.”
She also spoke of the importance of the teachers for human resource development, and what makes a good teacher.
The highlight of the opening ceremony was the recognition of deserving educators.
A number of phenomenal male and female teachers were awarded for their service to the profession.
Five retired teachers were awarded for their service: Hartley Adams for 37 years; David Kentish for 39 years; Marie Wilkins for 40 years; mrs Jennifer Wallace-Lafond also for 40 years, and brother Henry French for 61 years of service to the profession.