Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, said the Government is seeking “an enduring partnership” with the teachers of Jamaica and the wider region, for the benefit of the nation’s children.
"There is no future for our children, for our societies and for the profession…, unless there is union, co-operation…among the strong elements/stakeholders of the education system," he stated.
"I consider the partnership of the state and the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) and, by extension, the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT), to be an indispensible element of progress in education,” he added.
The Education Minister was addressing the opening ceremony of the CUT’s executive meeting on July 17 at the JTA's headquarters in Kingston.
He commended the regional body for its continued contribution to the advancement of the education system in the Caribbean. He stated that it is through organisations like CUT, that a more centralised infrastructure is beginning to be built at the base of the society, “which, perhaps, not in our time, but eventually, will knit together the various elements of our societies…into a unity of strength."
President of the CUT, Marvin Andall, said the meeting presented an opportunity for union members to create new initiatives and more workable solutions for the many problems faced in the education sector.
"The modern environment in which teachers’ unions operate is characterised by complexity. The issues are many and of different dimensions… (therefore) when we have the cross-fertilization of ideas, as we hope to experience within the next 48 hours, we tend to have better solutions than each individual trying to solve his problem on his own," he stated.
The CUT is the representative body for teachers in the Caribbean. The organisation is dedicated to furthering the cause of teachers unions: promoting the status, interest and welfare of teachers; improving the quality of education in the Caribbean; and uniting the peoples of the region.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter