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VVOB introduces Suriname Minister of Education to Flemish education system

A Surinamese delegation of education experts, led by the country’s Minister of Education Robert L. Peneux, visited the Flemish education system end October. The five-day visit was organised and facilitated by VVOB, a partner of the Surinamese Ministry of Education. The aim of the study visit was to inspire the delegation in its development of a policy framework for the continuing professional development of Surinamese teachers. The Minister also explored opportunities for future cooperation between Suriname and Flanders in educational matters.

Mutual cooperation

In these five instructional days, the delegation visited several important institutions and actors in the Flemish education system. Minister Peneux (small image; centre) led the delegation from Suriname, which also included Natasia Bennanon, Permanent Secretary of Education (small image; right); Ashokkoemar Rambali, Assistant Permanent Secretary for TVET; Marcia Dankerlui, Director of the Institute for Teacher Training; Daniela Rosario, Director of the Centre for Continuing Education of Suriname; and Olten Van Genderen, advisor to the Minister.

The Flemish Department of Education received the delegation for a presentation on the Department’s policy on professionalisation of teachers in Flanders. Minister Peneux and Micheline Scheys, the secretary-general of the Department (small image; left), took the time to explore possibilities of cooperation between Flanders and Suriname. They agreed to develop some concrete proposals for mutual cooperation and support both in terms of internationalisation and in terms of policy-making and -support in education.

Sustainable and strong

The delegation also visited Catholic Education Flanders, which is the biggest education network in Flanders. They shared their expertise in the fields of pedagogical guidance and the continuing professional development of teachers and school leaders. The busy programme also included visits to the Training Centre for Woodwork in Brussels and to organisations Beroepenhuis and Leefsleutels in Ghent. These organisations aim to improve the quality of education by offering different yet important approaches to the professionalisation of teachers.

The visit to the teacher training programme of University College Arteveldehogeschool in Ghent presented the ideal opportunity to look back on a successful partnership, for example with the Pedagogical Institutes in the framework of the ‘New Teacher’-project and the training of mentors for new teachers in lower vocational training. The Minister also look ahead and discussed the future of the partnership with the General Director and the Chairman of the Board of the Arteveldehogeschool, envisioning a sustainable and strong cooperation.

VVOB will continue working with the members of the delegation to further develop Suriname’s policy on continuing professional development of teachers and school leaders, aiming for quality and effective continuing professional development.

Enjoy more pictures of the high-level visit from Suriname to Belgium below.