A conference on developing competent, committed and professional teachers for Solomon Islands is currently underway at the Mendana Hotel.
The purpose of the conference is to inform the design of the National Teacher Education Development Plan for the next three years.
The conference also provided an opportunity for all education stakeholders to build and grow relationships for the betterment of education at all levels in the Solomon Islands.
Some of the key questions raised and discussed during the conference are; what exactly is competent, committed and professional teacher particularly in the context of Solomon Islands and how do we develop competent and committed teachers for Solomon Islands?
The conference cames about as the result the National Education Development Plan for the last three years.
The plan has placed a lot of emphasis on the professional development of teachers to improve their effectiveness and to align teacher education and development with the new national professional standard for teachers which have been adopted by the ministry with the approval from SIG.
The National Education Action Plan 2013-2015 features three important new approaches for developing effective teachers.
The first, is the new professional standard that have been approved by the Government and published in the new Teaching Handbook.
The second, is the ides of school- based learning for teachers and principals or situated learning which the Ministry and SINU have already introduced as the approach for training teachers.
Third, is the introduction of professional development for teachers through short in-service programmes for every teacher.
With that it is also noted in the conference that participants should also aware of a new approach to school based teacher performance management process based on national teacher standard and competence which has been established at the school level.
These standard provide guidance for teachers to develop the required level of competencies and to improve the teaching and learning in schools.
The School based Appraisal is part of the performance management to all teachers where it serves both accountability and improvement purpose where it has a direct impact on the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom.
The two days conference which started yesterday will be end today with more presenters expected today with discussions and suggestions.
Attending the conference are representatives from major sponsors like PNG government, Australia and New Zealand.
By Biriau Wilson Saeni