JIS News

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Audrey Sewell, has lauded teachers for the pivotal role they play in developing emotionally intelligent, articulate and productive citizens for national development.
“Today, we honour those men and women who have not only answered the call to serve our nation in this important role, but those who have gone beyond the call of duty in imparting knowledge and nurturing, inspiring and awakening the minds of young people and adults, through the life long learning process,” Mrs. Sewell said.
She was speaking at the long service awards ceremony for the Constant Spring Primary and Junior High School, at the New Life Assembly of God Church, in Kingston, on Wednesday (May 20).
The Permanent Secretary said that the Government appreciated the teachers’ dedication to their work, and remains committed to improving the capacity of teachers, which is an integral component of the Ministry’s drive to transform the education system.
Mrs. Sewell pointed to two new institutions that teachers are set to benefit from, as part of this transformation process – the Jamaica Educational Leadership Academy and the Jamaica Teaching Council.
They are two of the five Regional Education Authorities (REAs) Education Minister, Andrew Holness, had promised would be put in place as part of the modernisation of the education sector, during his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, last year.
The agencies will focus on improving monitoring, accountability and quality assurance; curriculum and assessment; and transforming the teaching profession.
She said that the Leadership Academy is intended to improve the competences of Jamaica’s school leaders, through rigorous leadership training.
“Although this programme will be geared towards senior level educators, any teacher who displays the interest and initiative will be able to access its offerings,” the Permanent Secretary noted.
She also noted that the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC), will have the statutory authority to regulate, licence, and advocate for the teaching profession, and will also provide strategic direction on professional development.
“In this manner, the JTC will promote accountability, and elevate the status of the teaching profession,” she explained.
The other entities are: the National Education Inspectorate; the Curriculum and Assessment Agency; and the National Education Trust.
Senior Advisor/Consultant in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Cleveland Stewart, also joined in praising the teachers, noting their invaluable contribution to the growth and development of the society.
“It is the combined effort of our teachers that consistently produce quality Jamaican students, who graduate, go on to outstanding careers and assume key leadership positions in business, industry, science, medicine, politics and other equally important fields,” he said.
Noting that the country cannot progress, if the population is not educated, Mr. Stewart said that the 2008 Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica (ESSJ) indicates that some 850,000 persons were enrolled in educational institutions, with the primary level accounting for 36.6 per cent of that figure.
“It is people like you (teachers) who help to mould, nurture and shape the lives of each student and so, today, we are extremely pleased to honour you for your many years of service and dedication,” he added.
Twenty one teachers were honoured, according to their years of service (10-12 years, 14-17 years and 18-36 years).