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Teacher opts for island ‘summer school’

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Andrew Campbell posed last month at Grand Anse beach, a five-minute walk from his housing in Grenada. Campbell, a teacher at Major Ballachey School, was part of a group that worked with Grenadian teachers to share resources.
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As soon as Major Ballachey teacher Andrew Campbell put away his books and school supplies at the end of June, he took them up again in a world almost 4,000 kilometres away.

Campbell was one of about 60 Canadian teachers selected for Project Overseas and one of five sent to the Caribbean island of Grenada where he and his colleagues participated in professional learning workshops with Grenadian teachers.

“We learned very quickly that things there are very different,” said Campbell.

“We had teachers in the program who had been high school students in June and are going to be teaching this year in September because you don’t have to have a degree to be a teacher in Grenada.”

That leaves both fresh and seasoned teachers hungry for education and resources on the beautiful island.

“The time they spent with us is the only professional development time they have. Those who attend the program are clear that teachers talk about it for years to come.”

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation has been running Project Overseas for decades in partnership with other teacher federations and those in the host countries.

Campbell was off to Ottawa at the beginning of July to take part in training with about 60 other teachers who were to be scattered across the globe during the month, helping to improve public education in developing countries.

Some of the topics covered range from reading and math to gender equity and developing leaders in and out of the classroom.

“I’ve always been really passionate about public education and I love to travel,” said Campbell. “I spent some time teaching in Kuwait but came back home because of young kids. Now that my kids are semi-launched, it provided me the opportunity to go back out again.”

Campbell applied for the highly competitive program last year but didn’t make it. He was finally selected this year.

While the difference between a Canadian and a Grenadian classroom may be vast, Campbell said his team of five and the 120 local teachers immediately bonded over similarities.

“My first day in a class with 20 other teachers from Grenada, no one knowing each other or talking much and then one asked ‘In Ontario, what’s your policy about homework?’ and suddenly, organically, we were in a big discussion about whether kids should do homework and how much homework. The fact we were from different countries melted away.

“We were just teachers and that felt huge to me professionally. It was a realization there’s much more that we have in common than our differences.”

Campbell also found almost everyone he spoke to was a Toronto Raptors fan and most have relatives living in Canada.

“It made me think of Major Ballachey where we have children who are Syrian refugees and how problems from thousands of miles away come into our schools very quickly. The students in Grenada today could be in my classroom tomorrow.”

During off hours, Campbell couldn’t get enough of the nearby Grand Anse beach, a pristine yet busy place to walk, swim, look at starfish and “meet the incredibly friendly people of Grenada.”

Once his responsibilities to Project Overseas were done, Campbell capped off his visit with a boat trip inspired by a former student: he travelled along the Grenadines to St. Vincent at the other end of the chain of islands.

“It was a special moment for me.”

Campbell returned to Canada ready to teach both co-teachers and students his most important lesson – the position of privilege Canadians hold.

“The physical resources we have access to are far above what they have. I came back with hundreds of pictures and want to share with my students about a place where classrooms have a concrete floor and no real blackboards or projectors. We need to appreciate what we have because we’re incredibly rich.”

SGamble@postmedia.com

@EXPSGamble

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Caribbean & World

Missing Man Found | NOW Grenada

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30-year old, Devon Jeffrey of La Mode, St George, who was reported missing on Monday, 17 February 2020 has been found and has been reunited with his family. 

The Royal Grenada Police Force thanks the general public and the media for their continued support.

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Fátima Aldrighett: Mexico searches for suspect in seven-year-old's murder

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Police are searching for a woman seen with seven-year-old Fátima Aldrighett, who was later found dead.



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Prime Minister at Inter-Sessional Meeting of Caricom Heads of Government

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Prime Minister, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, is in Barbados for the 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

Dr Mitchell is accompanied by Minister of Trade, Industry, Cooperatives and Caricom Affairs, Honourable Oliver Joseph.

Dr Mitchell is expected to update his colleague Heads of Government on matters of importance relative to Science and Technology, including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), which is his area of responsibility in the Caricom Quasi-Cabinet.

According to the Caricom Secretariat, Caribbean leaders are expected to deliberate on a regional approach to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) as well as the continuing challenges posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Other important agenda items include the need for ongoing advocacy against the challenges of blacklisting, de-risking, and withdrawal of Correspondent Banking Services; the Caricom Single Market and Economy and the strengthening of regional law enforcement cooperation among member states.

The leaders are also expected to engage in discussion with representatives from the private sector, labour and civil society.

The Prime Minister returns to the state on Wednesday, 19 February 2020. In his absence, Honourable Gregory Bowen will act as Prime Minister.

Office of the Prime Minister

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