USJ opens new center for teachers’ professional development

Professor Stephen Morgan, rector of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), reiterated his confidence in the necessity of the institution’s new education center.

Speaking on the sidelines of the opening ceremony for the new center yesterday, Morgan emphasized that the Teachers’ Professional Development Centre is the first of its kind in Macau and offers on-the-job training opportunities for teaching staff.

He recalled that in the past, the Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ) had to rely on experts from Hong Kong to provide such training for the local teaching staff.

After years, he said, both the DSEDJ and the USJ realized that there are sufficient professionals in Macau to merit the establishment of the new facility.

The rector highlighted that teaching staff outside the university will benefit from the new center as well as the USJ’s internal staff.

On the availability of academics for the new center, Morgan highlighted that the university has a large pool of teaching professionals, in addition to an enormous group of adjunct teaching staff. All staff have had a long period of cooperation with the institution, the rector stressed, and will support the development of the center.

At the opening ceremony, DSEDJ director Kong Chi Meng said that the bureau promotes continuous improvement across all aspects of teaching quality and will expand and support the provision of diversified training opportunities for teaching staff.

He believes that the center’s establishment will provide high-quality professional training for schools and organizations, which will further promote the development of education in Macau and the Greater Bay Area (GBA). In doing so, it will strengthen the relationship between higher education and non-tertiary education sectors.

Meanwhile, professor Isabel Tchiang, director of the new center, disclosed that the university had seen over 1,200 graduates in the past 10 years after opening its post-graduate diploma in education.

The academic said that the goal of the center is to support the professional development of teaching staff through specific courses, activities, seminars and shared resources, while echoing the rector’s comment on promoting on-the-job training for teachers across the GBA.

The opening ceremony also saw the signing of memoranda of understanding with eight local schools and a GBA research center.

The university said that the center will offer professional training for inclusive and special education in Macau, training for new teachers and instructors, management-level training for educational leaders, on-demand school-based training programs, and training for early literacy development and support in early childhood education.

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