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Story Highlights

  • The Education Minister was speaking at the LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher and Principal of the Year awards ceremony held on November 12, 2013, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
  • The Jamaica Teaching Council Bill, which is in draft form, seeks to provide for the establishment of a governing body for the teaching profession
  • The Teacher of the Year programme was established in 1997, while the Principal of the Year programme started in 2006.

Education Minister, Rev. Hon. Ronald Thwaites, is reiterating the Government’s commitment to ensuring consensus on the proposed Jamaica Teaching Council Bill, before steps are taken to pass legislation entrenching the organisation.

“We are committed and have expended the time and will expend more time as much as is necessary for the process of consultation and broad acceptance among all stakeholders. For the sake of our children, let us strive to keep in focus the intent of the legislation,” he stated.

The Education Minister was speaking at the LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher and Principal of the Year awards ceremony held yesterday (Nov. 12), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

The Jamaica Teaching Council Bill, which is in draft form, seeks to provide for the establishment of a governing body for the teaching profession, and institute a regime for the licensing and registration of all government paid teachers.

It also gives legal powers to the Council to immediately suspend and cancel the registration of a teacher, who is charged for what is deemed a disqualifiable offence, which includes sexual offences, murder, pornography, robbery, and fraud.  The body will also seek to encourage excellence and to improve marginal performance wherever it exists.

Rev. Thwaites said that the Ministry continues to invite the views of all stakeholders in the sector, particularly teachers, as it seeks to establish standards of professional conduct for the teaching profession.

“Parents and taxpayers are interested in improving teaching standards and systems of accountability similar to what obtains with other professional or occupational groups. This is an issue, which is far too important for any kind of divisiveness,” he said.

In the meantime, the LASCO/Ministry of Education Principal and Teacher of the Year 2013 awards went to Norman Malcolm of the Windward Road Primary and Junior High School and Janet Walters from the John Rollins Success Primary School, respectively.

The Teacher of the Year programme was established in 1997, while the Principal of the Year programme started in 2006.  The awards recognise those in the education system, who have displayed exemplary standards of professionalism and creative education, and uphold the integrity of their profession.