In general, the quality of teaching in lower secondary vocational education and training in Suriname, or the lager beroepsonderwijs (LBO), needs improvement. There is a lack of fully qualified LBO teachers and those in service often feel ill-equipped to adopt classroom practices in line with the competency-based education and training model that Suriname committed to. In addition, LBO teachers rarely have an adequate response to the hardships that are characteristic of the LBO student population.
The majority of LBO students come from families who are experiencing very vulnerable circumstances. This can translate in difficult behaviour at school and an increased risk of early school leaving or expulsion. Particularly starting teachers find this very challenging. Unfortunately, the average LBO school leader is also at a loss when it comes to properly addressing LBO students’ multiple barriers to learning. School leaders, too, need support in their task of creating a school environment that is conducive to quality teaching and learning.
Without meaningful professional development for LBO teachers and school leaders, it is difficult to see how Suriname’s 54 LBO schools will offer their students the opportunities that they deserve and that have been promised at the start of the reform.
Teachers and school leaders of lower secondary vocational education and training in Suriname have the necessary pedagogical skills to improve the quality of teaching and learning of all students in LBO schools, with special attention for competence- and student-centred education.
- Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (MinOWC)
- MinOWC Directorate for Vocational Training (ODB)
- Teacher Training College for Vocational Education and Training (LOBO)
- Centre for In-service Training (CENASU)
The PROGRESS LBO programme centres on strengthening the professional development opportunities for LBO teachers and school leaders.
The programme is built around three pillars:
- Improving the initial training provided by LOBO, Suriname’s sole LBO teacher training college.
- Enhancing the in-service teacher training provided by CENASU, the privileged INSET provider of the MinOWC.
- Creating continuous professional development opportunities for LBO school directors, specifically in the shape of professional learning networks supported by ODB.
Within each pillar, the focus lies on preparing LBO professionals to create a safe and learner-oriented school and classroom environment.
By the end of the PROGRESS LBO programme:
LOBO will have:
- better integrated the technical and pedagogical preparation of LBO student teachers, thus promoting a true activating vocational pedagogy for a selected number of areas of study;
- developed and implemented initial training modules on gender-responsive prevention of and responses to students’ problem behaviour.
CENASU will have:
- developed and implemented in-service training for LBO teachers and school directors on gender-responsive prevention of and responses to students’ problem behaviour;
- developed and implemented in-service training for LBO directors on a school-wide accompaniment of starting teachers;
- developed and implemented in-service training for LBO directors on educational leadership.
- will have piloted professional learning networks for LBO school directors;
- takes the necessary measures to institutionalise these networks.
To reach its goals, VVOB Suriname develops the capacity of its education partners. VVOB uses capacity development trajectories that give partners maximal responsibility in the execution and management of their own change processes. This is done through technical assistance provided by the VVOB Suriname team, which includes both local and international educational and change management experts.