Principal of the Golden Spring Primary School in St. Andrew, Winston Smith, has been installed as the 57th president of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association (JTA).
Mr. Smith was installed during the opening ceremony of the 57th JTA annual conference, which was held on Monday (August 16) at the Ocean Coral Spring Hotel in Trelawny.
The outgoing president is Principal of the Manchester High School, Jasford Gabriel.
In his address, Mr. Smith pledged to ensure that the JTA will continue being a force to be reckoned with.
“…A force for good, not only in the interest of its members, but also of Jamaica land we love. I want to be clear from the outset that this presidency is not going to be about me, I am merely the tool that the membership has decided to use to lead the furtherance of its objective, I am just your humble servant,” Mr. Smith stated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Smith in noting the challenges being faced by the education sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and commended Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, for “efforts you have already made in executing your stewardship of the Ministry.”
He added, however, that there is still room for improvement in the sector, especially as it relates to the digital divide.
Mr. Smith also highlighted that teachers have been working much harder during the pandemic, “but this is done to ensure that we are no worse off, in an attempt to bridge the digital divide.”
The JTA President also encouraged the Ministry to equip all schools with quality internet connection and electronic devices to ensure that teachers can execute their duties effectively.
Custos of Trelawny, the Hon. Hugh Gentles, in bringing greetings, commended the JTA for its service to the island.
He also lauded teachers for being “the backbone of the society” and highlighted that they have gone beyond the call of duty.
The two-day conference is being held under the theme “Bridging the digital and social divide: Transforming education for economic growth and sustainable development”. The event concludes on Wednesday (August 18).