Sin maestros preparados está lejos la excelencia educativa

Without trained teachers, educational excellence is far away

so that the Dominican Republic can leave the list of countries with the worst performance in pre-university education, teacher training must be strengthened and not reduced, as would happen with the modification of regulation 0915which was designed to raise the bar for aspiring teachers who enroll in universities.

The approach is from the former Minister of Education, Ligia Amada Melowho warns that lowering the requirements established in that regulation, whose elaboration he directed, only benefits universities that want more students, but not to the Dominican educational system.

According to their explanations, the universities pressed for the entrance exams to the Education career to be less complex, because the majority of the applicants do not pass them, due to the weaknesses of the pre-university education.

“The consequence was that the enrollment in the universities fell, the rectors pressured the Mescyt to authorize them to teach without the need for regulation 0915, but rather they could apply another, and that was approved Alexandrina German”, said the former Minister of Higher Education.

Then, he said: “When this management comes, it’s even worse, because what the rectors want is to have many students, no matter how they turn out.”

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“I am in favor of continuing to apply the 0915 regulation, that it continue to be rigorous with those who are going to study Education, that the number of Education students in universities be limited, because not so many are required, and that it be oriented towards candidates for the races for which they do have conditions.

“If you modify and make teacher training more rigorous, it is the pre-university education system that is going to benefit, because those teachers They will give classes in initial, basic and secondaryand to the extent that teachers improve, the system improves,” he said.

In this context, he expressed that with the teachers that the system currently has, the situation is not going to change “although whoever wants it, until teacher training changes, we are not going to improve it.”

Regulation 0915

The educator explained that the aforementioned regulations establish that to study educationapplicants must be subjected to two tests, one of cognitive abilities, that is, intelligence, comprehension, critical thinking, logical thinking, and another of mastery of content, which is an international test.

The regulations also require that professors who teach at universities have master’s degrees, that classes are not taught one day a week, but systematically, and that the neuroscience is a compulsory subject so that aspiring teachers know how learning occurs.

In addition, that they have mastery of digital technologies, of English, more pedagogical practicesand that the universities have adequate areas to develop those plans.

Other recommendations

Taking the leap towards educational excellence does not depend only on teachers workso Melo suggests other measures such as restructuring the curriculum, to eliminate non-essential content, and use digital technology as support for face-to-face education.

But the great emphasis should be concentrated, in his opinion, on changing the academic administration, “which means that class periods are 90 minutes and not 45, because the curriculum says to develop skills, but no teacher, no matter how well trained that is, you can develop skills in 45 minutes of classes”.

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Likewise, she proposes the elimination of the automatic promotion from second to third grade of elementary school, because although that measure was ordered by her when she was in charge of the Ministry of Education in 1996it is not implemented with the established rigors.

“You know what is happening now, that as the teachers do not apply anything, pass the children from third to fourth without knowing how to read, and arrive at university without knowing how to read, because reading is not knowing how to decipher signs, it means understanding what is read. And he who does not understand what he reads, he will not be able to learn anything”.

Melo suggests that teachers be more accompanied by technicians, to improve teaching methods, “but those technicians are in their offices, they do not go to schools,” he said.

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