International Teachers Day, October 5, 2010, provides another forum for the world to recognize and honour the immense contribution of teachers to human development and progress. It is with a deep sense of appreciation that I pay tribute to all teachers in Jamaica as we commemorate the day.
The commitment of our teachers over decades has produced the sons and daughters of Jamaica who have enabled the social, economic and cultural development of our nation. It is significant to note that of five governors-general appointed since independence in 1962, three of them were teachers. This signifies the esteem in which this country holds its teachers.
The theme for International Teachers Day – “Recovery begins with teachers” – is timely and relevant. As a nation experiencing our share of the global economic recession, we acknowledge the key role of our teachers in building the human capital needed for economic recovery and sustained development. Undoubtedly, the teaching profession is going through challenging times. New developments in technology are forging changes in the teaching and learning environment and demanding retooling of the teaching profession. Parents and the wider community must strengthen partnerships with teachers to improve educational outcomes. To this end the Ministry of Education has created the Quality Education Circles (QECs) island-wide, to open pathways for effective community participation in the education of our young.
Support to the teaching profession is the highest priority of the Ministry of Education. The Jamaica Teaching Council has been established to regulate the teaching profession, putting it on par with other noble professions. It will widen the career path for teachers and ensure that new policies and directions are informed by data and experience. Simultaneously, the JTC will recognize and reward excellent teachers.
Today I heartily congratulate all awardees of the Excellent Teachers Award as we commemorate International Teachers Day. I urge you to keep on the path of excellence, and to continue making an invaluable contribution to the national endeavour for social and economic recovery.
May God bless you all.
Andrew HolnessMinister of Education

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