JIS News

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has recognized the outstanding contribution of twenty-six of the island’s teachers by presenting them with the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for service in the field of education. The presentations were made at ceremony held at Jamaica House on Wednesday (May 9), in observance of Teachers’ Day.
In her remarks, Mrs. Simpson Miller said as individuals entrusted with the primary responsibility outside the home to develop and nurture the country’s most precious resources, teachers are the ones who introduce our children to the most exciting and rewarding journey of their lives, a journey of lifelong learning and self-discovery. She said that irrespective of where they work, teachers serve students, families and entire communities with heart, mind and soul.
“You coax, nurture, build confidence, counsel, mediate, encourage and act as surrogate parents,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
She said since the beginning of Jamaica’s history in education, the country has had some of the best teachers in the hemisphere, who have made Jamaica proud. She said it was therefore fitting that they be honoured for their outstanding contribution to the development of education.
The Prime Minister said there was a lot more work to be accomplished, adding that the transformation of the education sector was designed to place Jamaica on the right track. She said that in keeping with the emphasis on transformation, work was ongoing to promote innovation, improve the quality of teaching and the learning environment, as well as introduce quality assurance mechanisms.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said the government has committed itself to a major investment in education, adding that the nation had a duty to adequately prepare the next generation. She said this also includes addressing social challenges including violence in schools and other forms of anti-social behaviour.
“We must stem the tide of violence, coarseness and lack of self-respect gaining ground in some schools,” the Prime Minister stated.
She said the goal was to transform the Jamaica education experience and commended nation’s teachers for the positive difference they were making in the lives of their students. The twenty-six awardees include retired and current serving members of the teaching profession from across the island.

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