Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has said more space must be created within the school system for the employment of graduates of teachers’ colleges.
The move, he said, would address the high student: teacher ratio in some schools. “The student teacher ratios in many schools are inadequate. There are too many students in each class,” Rev. Thwaites said on May 9, at the John Mills Infant, Primary and Junior High School’s long service award luncheon held at Pollyanna Caterers on Stanton Terrace in Kingston.
“What is the point of engaging hundreds, near thousands of young candidates with shiny ambitions within the teachers’ colleges every year and when they graduate, we cannot offer them employment? And yet, the school system needs them and many of (the teachers) need teaching assistants and many need to be relieved of some of the congestion in the classes,” Mr. Thwaites said.
He also pointed to the need to do away with the shift system. “The shift system is not good for education and we must make every effort to provide the facilities as soon as we can…so that we can move away from that paradigm,” he said.
The Education Minister said for the changes to be made “we simply cannot spend the existing education dollar in the same way now as we did before and, therefore; I have to call upon all of us to look to see how we can readjust ourselves."
In the meantime, Mr. Thwaites congratulated the eight teachers of John Mills, who were awarded for more than 25 years of service to the education system.
“I wanted to come as its the very least I can do to offer tribute to those who have served the teaching profession for such a long time and, by extension, to offer congratulations and appreciation to all teachers on this Teacher’s Day 2012,” the Education Minister said.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter