Teacher’s qualifications - a clarification
March 12, 2012
The topic of unqualified teachers in the classroom has become something of a political football in recent weeks, and I would like to put the matter in perspective. As last year’s Deputy Chair and this year’s Chair of Bermuda Educators Council Exemptions Committee, I can verify that there are at present thirteen people with degrees but without teaching qualifications who have been granted exemption under the Bermuda Educators Act 2002, and are therefore licensed to teach until 30 June, 2012. Each of those thirteen is in the process of obtaining the requisite teaching qualification, and will have completed training by that date.
Eleven of the teachers are in public schools, where over 600 teachers are employed. They form less than two percent of the teaching workforce. Each of them had obtained a degree in a relevant discipline and was enrolled in an approved programme for teacher certification before exemption was granted last year. Each application for exemption by a school principal is examined thoroughly by the Exemptions Committee. The onus is on the principal to demonstrate a specific need for the services of that particular applicant (as required by the Educators Act), and to ensure that the applicant has a degree and shows proof of enrolment in a recognised professional certification programme.
At this point I would like to assure Mrs Louse Jackson that I cannot recall an application for exemption for a PE teacher in 2011. If there was one, the committee would have made sure that the applicant had a Bachelor’s degree in physical education, which incorporates a thorough knowledge of human physiognomy. Furthermore, the principal is obligated to ensure that each exempted teacher is supervised and guided by a senior teacher on the staff. Thank you for giving me a chance to throw some light on this matter.
Bermuda Educators Council
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