No Jobs For Teachers

Recently, the Honourable Minister Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education announced that the Ministry will be unable to employ new teachers on the basis that it would affect Jamaica’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Public announcements were also made by the Prime Minister and Minister of Education, suggesting that prospective teachers should seek employment outside of Jamaica and/or pursue other careers. The Minister encouraged teachers in training to look at areas of specialization such as: Early Childhood, Science, Mathematics as well as Information Technology.  There is a high failure rate among students for English Language and there is also a shortage of Special Education educators. However, these specializations were not mentioned among the areas for which there is a need.

Studies have however shown that, there is a high student to teacher ratio in many institutions as well as a myriad of students with different learning challenges. Given this scenario, shouldn’t we be investing in education by placing more trained teachers in the system and building more schools to mitigate over-crowding?

I trust that more administrators will come on board and take a serious look at the implications if these and other observations are not considered.

Education is the backbone of our society, the mother of all careers and an avenue for sustainable development and I strongly believe that employing new teachers should have been considered in negotiating the IMF agreement.