The T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCCC) is starting to realise benefits from the first year of its five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the PETNA Foundation and McMaster University from Canada.
The MOU is seeking to deal heavily with curriculum development and the balancing act between academic study and academic attainment at TAMCC.
It also targets vocational training and looking at areas of study that best match the national development priorities.
According to Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Senator Simon Stiell, the island’s premier tertiary institution stands to benefit from the arrangement with McMaster in the area of teacher and faculty development as well as strengthening the teaching skills within the college.
Addressing members of the media at the weekly held post-Cabinet Press Briefing held at the Ministerial Complex, Sen. Stiell said the partnership with the Canadian university “is not only to look at and strengthen what we teach but also strengthening how we teach and that learning experience at TAMCC”.
“…These are core elements of the strategic thrust that this administration has for our community college,” he remarked.
The collaboration between TAMCC and McMaster university is the brainchild of US-based Grenadian-born entrepreneur, Earle Brathwaite, the son of late Congress Prime Minister, Sir Nicholas Brathwaite.
Sen. Stiell told reporters that there have been many exchanges under the MOU especially through the facilitating of certification through various workshops and the opportunity for faculty members and staff to visit McMaster University.
The target this year, he said, is to provide certification training to 40 teaching staff members.
“These are in the areas of faculty development, instructional skills…so how to teach, what they call community of practice which is looking at the implementation of best teaching practices. So, within the faculty there could be a learning experience amongst the faculty staff in terms of best practices with the oversight of Mc Master University.
“…Then the other area is curriculum development, and quality assurance, key areas looking at what we teach and ensuring the relevance to meet our needs but also ensuring that what we are teaching is to the highest possible standard.
“So, with a target of 40 teaching staff, to be certified – to date 20 teaching staff…so a major achievement… half way through the year, half those staff have been certified, the other 20 that will take place from June of this year.
Sen. Stiell alluded to another aspect of the partnership that is to establish a student partnering programme in which there will be greater student involvement in the teaching processes.
“This will build confidence, this will build competency and peer to peer learning within that student committee and these are practices that are being used in world class educational institutions. So, we’re bringing those practices, those concepts right here to Grenada”, he said.