JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Several trained teachers were offered employment
  • Teachers had the opportunity to meet various employers and to secure interviews
  • UCC is among the organisations that have provided jobs for teachers and new graduates

Corporate Jamaica, including private educational institutions, responded positively to the Ministry of Education’s recent Job Fair for teachers.

Several trained teachers, who were unable to find employment within public educational institutions, were offered employment.

The Job Fair was held following a recent acknowledgement by Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, that the Government is unable to offer employment to all the graduates of teacher-training institutions for the new school year, except for teachers trained in Mathematics, the Sciences, Language Arts, Special Education and Early Childhood Education.

At the fair, held on August 13 and 14 on the grounds of the Ministry of Education, National Heroes Circle in Kingston, teachers had the opportunity to meet various employers and to secure appointments to be interviewed for jobs. In addition, they benefitted from career development and motivational presentations. The two-day fair highlighted a wide cross section of job opportunities, in addition to teaching and training.

The University College of the Caribbean (UCC), currently ranked as the largest private educational institution in Jamaica, is among the organisations that have provided jobs for teachers and new graduates who attended the fair, eagerly looking for jobs.

Manager, Human Resource Management and Development at UCC, Lorna Baxter, said the institution screened some 25 persons at the fair. Of that amount, 13 were employed as recruiters on short-term contracts. They began working at the institution on Monday, August 19.

“We advised them what we wanted them for, we gave them the position descriptions right there at the job fair and they indicated their interest,” Mrs. Baxter said, adding that 13 of the 25 teachers, who were screened, turned up for training the following day.

In the meantime, she said the majority of teachers will work as recruiters, to deal with students entering the institution at this time.

“Hopefully, at the end of the process, we will take them on. The contracts are short term initially, because it is really the period of recruitment that we are in, but once you get to know the individuals you will be more inclined to see where in the organisation you can fit them,” she explained.

Mrs. Baxter said that teachers could also be placed in various areas, such as recruitment, student affairs, faculty unit and serve as programme co-ordinators to assist with the programmes at the institution.

As part of the employment process, she said the teachers attended a two-day training programme to properly prepare for their new employment.

Citing the value of the new employees to UCC, Mrs. Baxter said: “They are basically the first face of the organisation that the prospective student will be seeing; they have to be able to sell our products, market the image of our institution. At the faculty they will be the ones teaching our students and providing that lasting impression.”

She pointed out that the institution had been on a recruitment drive to fill vacant positions at the institution, when the opportunity arose to participate in the Ministry’s Job Fair. “We really saw an opportunity to help and we took it, seeing that we were already thinking that we needed to beef up certain areas,” she added.

Mrs. Baxter lauded the initiative of the Ministry of Education and said the UCC is willing to participate in future fairs.

Meanwhile, Vice President of Operations and Marketing at GoGSAT Limited, Shalette East, said her purpose at the fair was to recruit teachers for the Caribbean Virtual Academy (CEVA), a private online school serving Caribbean students. CEVA is a component of GoGSAT, which provides quality examination preparation and online help to students in grades one to six. It is done through the provision of educational games, thousands of practice questions, topic specific tests, study guides, pre-tests and post tests.

“We interviewed and hired teachers who met the criteria,” she said, noting that about 100 teachers will be hired, based on the number of students that would be participating in the online programme.

Although some 230 teachers have already joined the programme, Miss East told JIS News that the company is expanding, hence the need to take on more teachers.

“CEVA is going to be very huge; it is going to be a big thing in the Caribbean. We are not only targeting students from Jamaica, we are targeting students throughout the region and we are doing all the CSEC subjects, all the CAPE subjects and primary school subjects,” she said.

She pointed out that the company, which started operations last year, has  a set criteria for hiring teachers, noting that they must hold a Bachelor or a Masters Degree with a “good track record of teaching CSEC or CAPE subjects.”

According to Miss East, the teachers will undergo a period of training to prepare them to conduct tutorials, answer questions and grade notebooks using the platform on the website.

She said the job fair was a good initiative by the Ministry to help teachers to get employed. She also encouraged teachers to start their own businesses, adding that they could use the company’s platform to tutor online and start their own online businesses.

“This is an opportunity for teachers to use our platform to start their own online initiative. All the resources are there already. The features are built into the platform and the only thing they need to do is to get the students and start their tutorials,” she said.

Interested persons are asked to contact GoGSAT at 906-8144 or via the website:www.caribbeanexams.com.