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Authority, Structure and Functions of the Joint Board of Teacher Education

A Joint Board of Teacher Education is a statutory board of the University of the West Indies. According to Ordinance 14 (Sections 4a & e) of the University statutes, a Joint Board may be established by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the governments of any country or group of countries, for a country or group of countries. Currently there are two Joint Boards of Teacher Education: the JBTE based at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, which serves Jamaica, the Bahamas, Belize and Turks and Caicos Islands in the Western Caribbean; and the more recently founded JBTE based at the Cave Hill campus in Barbados, which serves the Eastern Caribbean.

The Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE) at Mona is a unique association in which the following are partners in all the decision-making processes involved in the certification of teachers and the development of teacher education and accreditation: The University of the West Indies; the governments of Jamaica, the Bahamas, Belize and Turks and Caicos Islands (through their Ministries of Education); the teachers’ colleges; and the teaching profession.

In accordance with University Ordinance 14.4 Section (e), each Joint Board has the following functions:
• To consider and recommend or approve the syllabuses of teachers’ colleges

• To examine and assess the work of students in training

• To make recommendations on teacher training and allied matters to the appropriate authorities

• The certification of teachers

The work of the Joint Board is administered by a secretariat headed by a senior University administrator. The examinations process is managed by the Institute of Education (IOE) through the secretariat of the JBTE, which is part of the IOE.

Teachers’ Colleges
In Jamaica, the JBTE membership includes 12 institutions training teachers at pre-university level for early childhood, primary and secondary schools. There are also programmes in special education and literacy studies. Some of these colleges are fully government owned and operated institutions, some belong to various churches, and one is the beneficiary of a private trust. The JBTE’s relationship with Belize goes back to 1965 with the founding of the Belize Teachers’ College, which became the Faculty of Education when the University of Belize was established in 2001. In Belize the JBTE provides quality assurance services to the programme offered by the University of Belize and accredits the Associate Degrees in Primary Education offered by St. John’s College. Since its inception in 1974, the College of The Bahamas has been a member of the JBTE. Before that there were two small colleges training teachers; these became part of the Institute Board of Teacher Training in 1965.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC) is the newest member of the JBTE in the Western Caribbean. Since 2004 the JBTE has been providing guidance to that institution in developing an Associate Degree in Primary Education, which had its first intake of students in September 2004. The programme will carry JBTE accreditation.

The Teachers’ College and Caribbean Society
The colleges have always been conscious of their role in the society and have endeavoured to produce teachers who become nation builders and community leaders. They have produced individuals who are confident, committed, competent, and knowledgeable. Their graduates have served as role models to countless generations and as change agents in their communities and at national level. Teachers’ college graduates are now to be found in high positions in every walk of life.

Teachers’ colleges have changed with the changing times. As they have matured under gifted and committed leadership, their contribution to teacher education has assumed even greater significance. Standards have risen, as have entry requirements for the students. The colleges have accepted the challenges posed by the present century with confidence and determination, and their philosophy reflects the changing nature of knowledge and of the society in which they are situated. The colleges are the significant partners in the JBTE partnership.

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