Done deal

Sam Sharpe Teachers' College and GC Foster forge partnership in sports

Observer West writer

Thursday, August 09, 2018

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GRANVILLE, St James —Starting next month, residents of western Jamaica and environs are to have access at the Sam Sharpe Teachers' College in St James, to a number of sport-related short courses in a variety of disciplines, offered by the St Catherine-based GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport.

The announcement came at a press conference held at Sam Sharpe Teachers' College last week where a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two tertiary institutions was signed.

As part of the agreement, starting next month, a physical education course will also be offered for teachers with diplomas from GC Foster who need to upgrade their certification.

Steve Davis, acting senior lecturer at GC Foster, told the Jamaica Observer West that soon all their bachelor degree courses would be available at Sam Sharpe Teachers' College through an exchange programme.

“We are starting with some of our short courses in sports and recreation,” he said. “Massage therapy, fitness instructions and writing programmes, but it will grow. It is a sharing of faculties and facilities.”

The two institutions, he explained, will share resources as lecturers from both institutions will go to the other to teach.

“For us at GC Foster, we need to spread the knowledge that we have, to go to other parts of the island, to the Caribbean, and to the world, as our coaches and sports professionals are getting better able to put forward programmes to improve sports coaching,” he explained.

For Dr Lorna Gow-Morrison, the interim principal at Sam Sharpe Teachers' College, the collaboration means more.

She explained that it could form a part of their outreach into the Granville community, where Sam Sharpe is located, and also to help attract more male students through it sports offerings.

“Just look at our location in Granville, and as a part of our mission, we see ourselves as looking at ways through which we can enhance the development of Granville, MoBay and the west in general,” she said.

Applicants will not need to have Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate subjects to enrol in the short courses, and this, Gow-Morrison believes, could be especially attractive to the “unattached youths here (Granville)”.

“This collaboration is providing a formal setting through which they (young people) can enhance their skills and get certification, so it is a form of outreach,” she stated.

David Mais, the chairman of G C Foster, described the collaboration as “an exciting opportunity for young people in Jamaica”.

Mais indicated that GC Foster has also signed a similar MOU with Bethlehem Teachers' College in St Elizabeth, where a group of 25 students were “enrolled in sports massage programmes, as we give many youngsters the chance to get education in different disciplines so that they can add to their resumes”.

Mais pointed out that the “drive of the Ministry of Education is to allow for persons to be certified in an activity that will enable them to earn more, and to use it as a platform to learn more”.

“We must never stop our education, and some of these short courses will end up as associate degrees,” he informed.

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