Education Minister Encourages Trainee Teachers to Volunteer

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites (right), listens to a concern being raised by trainee teacher of the Mico University College, Chevelle Crosdale (left), at a job fair for unemployed teachers hosted by the Ministry at its National Heroes Circle location in Kingston, August 13. At second left is trainee teacher, Shortwood Teachers’ College, Shelly-Ann Willis.

Story Highlights

  • Trainee teachers encouraged to volunteer their services as a first step to securing employment.
  • Regional offices to assist trainee teachers in this regard.
  • Volunteer teachers are the ones who will get the first preference whenever there is a vacancy.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is encouraging trainee teachers to volunteer their services as a first step to securing employment.

“I am urging you (student teachers) to consider volunteering where necessary, and where available in your school communities,” he advised, while addressing the opening ceremony for the Ministry’s job fair for unemployed teachers, at its National Heroes Circle location in Kingston, today (August 13).

The Minister said that should trainee teachers need assistance in this regard, “I will require that the regional offices assist to say where (these volunteers) are needed.”

Rev. Thwaites noted that while he understood that volunteering would not be easy, given the trainees’ economic needs, “I am telling you that this is a way in which many are helping themselves and many more can help themselves.”

The Minister pointed out that those teachers, who write to the Ministry to say they have been volunteering at a certain school, are the ones who will get the first preference whenever there is a vacancy.

“Nobody owes us a job. We have to make sure we are doing our best to help each other to be employed, and many teachers, and many people in many different professions find themselves without the experience necessary to command appointment in a particular position; but if they had the experience of apprenticeship, if they had the experience of volunteerism, then they have the opportunity to recommend themselves,” he said.

He suggested that trainee teachers can approach a Principal or a Board Chairman  to volunteer  in  a class with  many children  and the teacher is struggling, noting  that the experience  gained and the impact on the children could lead to the Principal  providing a  recommendation  that could result  in the trainee  gaining  employment quickly.

The two-day fair is targeting persons who recently completed a teacher-training programme in any of the island’s tertiary institutions and are experiencing difficulties finding a job.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet several potential employers and to secure appointments to be interviewed.  In addition, job seekers will benefit from career development and motivational presentations.

The Ministry’s decision to stage the job fair follows the statement by the Minister  that the Government is unable to absorb all the graduates of teacher-training institutions for the new school year, except for teachers trained in Mathematics, the Sciences, Language Arts, Special Education and Early Childhood Education.

JIS Social