The Government is in negotiations with stakeholders within the education sector, towards implementing a programme to ensure the employment of all trained teachers on their graduation.
Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, made the announcement while giving the keynote address at the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College valedictory service for 278 graduates, held at the Calvary Baptist Church, in Montego Bay, on April 19.
Pointing out that he is fully aware that there are many trained teachers across the country searching for jobs and having difficulty finding one, the Minister expressed sympathy for those in such a situation, and noted that there will be a change soon.
“I want to inform you that consistent with the programme for enhancing employment, which is a feature of this new government, we are working hard to find the funds, so that every teacher who is certified, even if we cannot put them in an established post right away, we can find something for them to do on a temporary basis with a stipend. That will be the foundation for the beginning of your career, and you will be given priority,” he told the graduates.
He pointed out that the financial situation in the country will make such a programme difficult to implement, and advised that discussions have already begun with stakeholders, such as the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA).
The Minister expressed the view that it makes no sense for the nation to invest in persons, and individuals in themselves, to gain professional qualifications as teachers, and then remain unemployed or have to migrate in search of employment.
“I hope that with your assistance and your commitment, the education system will improve, and that we will be able to ensure that more and more of our school leavers reach an adequate standard of competence in English and Mathematics as well as in Technical and Vocational skills, so as to fill the new requirements of the labour market here and abroad,” Rev. Thwaites said.
The Minister pointed out that the Ministry is also working to develop a new matrix of competence for school leavers.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter