Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, says teachers and parents must form a connection that will redound to the benefit of children, and the education system as a whole.
“The notion that there can be any separation between the teachers and the parents simply does not work…it is impossible for good outcomes if you do not have that kind of connection,” Rev. Thwaites stated.
The Minister was addressing a function to honour retirees, hosted by Maverley Primary and Junior High School, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kingston, on April 25, under the theme: ‘Honouring Stalwarts in Education’.
Rev. Thwaites urged teachers to take the time to get to know their students as soon as they enter their institutions.
“Forget the curriculum for the first term if you have to. Get to know the child, get to know the parents. And, parents get in touch with your child’s teacher every month at least. Establish a bond of connectivity which can only do your child well,” he insisted.
Meanwhile, he encouraged educators to observe standards of professionalism and accountability, and set good examples for their students, who must be taught the importance of discipline and good deportment.
The Minister also highlighted the link between positive attitudes and nutrition, noting that being cognisant of this correlation, the government has, this year, increased the allocation to the school feeding programme, despite fiscal challenges.
In the meantime, Rev. Thwaites praised the change in the education system since independence, noting that “it has been brought about by the consistent and sacrificial investments of every person in this country who pays a moiety of tax, and it has also been brought by the consistent dedication and day-to-day education of teachers”.
He pointed out that many students of humble origin are matriculating into the tertiary system, arguing that this opportunity, which has been created over time, is “profound and dignified”. Rev. Thwaites said the task at hand is to add equity to a system that already exists, by improving on what has been inherited.
He also expressed appreciation to the retirees for their years of service to education.
“We trust that it will be possible to regenerate the spirit of these teachers in the succeeding numbers, at all levels of the education system,” he added.
The eight retirees were hailed and thanked for their 186 cumulative years of service to education, and the institution in particular. They are: Past Principals, Beulah Montague and Yvonne Morgan; Past Vice Principal, Yvonne Cover; Past Acting Principal, Christine Powell; Past Senior Teacher, Bernice Webster; Past Vice Principal, Dawn Gunter; Past Senior Teacher, Junette Morgan; and Past Vice Principal, Marcia Beckles.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter