Today, World Teacher’s Day, the people of Jamaica reflect on the fundamental contribution that teachers make to nation-building.
Today, as we salute teachers all over the world, we must commit, as a Nation, to giving our teachers the support, respect and recognition they deserve. We must show respect for a profession that is more than a job, it is a calling.
I urge more members of the Private Sector to extend special courtesies to teachers, and individuals to express appreciation to teachers they know today. The government has shown its commitment to teachers by not only giving them sizeable increases, but by moving to raise the cachet of the profession.
The transformation of the teaching profession aims to improve the capacity of teachers and is an integral component of the Ministry’s drive to transform the Education System. Under the Transformation, teachers will benefit from two new institutions – The Jamaica Educational Leadership Academy (JELA) and the Jamaican Teaching Council (JTC), which is now up and running.
The JELA will focus on improving the competencies of Jamaica’s school leaders through rigorous leadership training. Although the programme is geared towards senior level educators, any teacher who displays the interest and initiative may access its offerings. The Teaching Council has the statutory authority to regulate, license, 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.
The Ministry of Education is developing a comprehensive Behaviour Management Policy and intends to pursue Safe School Legislation to ensure safe and secure learning environments. Another sign we are interested in the welfare and safety of our teachers.
Today, as we salute teachers all over the world, let us hail those who have the duty to impart knowledge and to nurture, inspire and awaken the minds of young people and adults through the life-long learning process. Let us stand and salute teachers as an important source of influence on the values and attitudes our young people adopt; let us laud those who play a pivotal role in developing the emotionally intelligent, articulate and productive citizens necessary for national development.
They deserve no less.
Thank You.

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