JIS News

Some 400 teachers in North West St. Catherine were honoured on Saturday (May 8), at an awards banquet held at Dinthill Technical High School in the parish.
The brainchild of the Member of Parliament for North West St. Catherine, Robert Pickersgill, the function was the highlight of activities in the area to mark Teachers’ Week.
Two of the awardees, Beryl Dilworth and Nathlee Jones received special recognition for serving 53 years each in the profession.
Assistant Chief Education Officer, Sephlyn Myers-Thomas also received a special award and a citation, read by Beverly Jobson-Grant, Principal of Polly Ground Primary School.
Delivering the keynote address, Professor of Government at the University of the West Indies, Senator Trevor Munroe congratulated the teachers for the critical roles they had played in the country’s development.
He also commended Mr. Pickersgill for hosting the ceremony, and urged other Members of Parliament, regardless of political persuasion, to have similar functions to honour teachers.
“No honour and no expression of appreciation is too great for the Jamaican teacher, especially at a time when so many are trying to cry down our teachers,” he said.
Senator Munroe noted that none of the “preachers of doom” would have been as adept in their manipulation of words and in their distortion of facts, had it not been for some teachers who had taught them how to reason.
The Professor said that there were some teachers at different levels of the profession who were not performing up to standard and called on the teachers to encourage their colleagues to live up to their responsibilities. “By their negligence, those who are not performing are carrying down all of us. They are giving a bad name to our profession and they are shortchanging our children and our students,” he added.
Despite the under-performance by some teachers, the Professor said that a survey done of Jamaica’s living conditions, revealed that over 90 per cent of Jamaican parents rated the schools as either good or very good. “And this is something that should never be forgotten,” he said.
Senator Munroe emphasized that teachers have to continually improve their skills to cope with the complexities of society, even as they have to “urge members of the society to better understand that what comes out of the school is as much the product and responsibility of the teacher as it is the product and the responsibility of parents, guardians and the whole society”.
Also attending the ceremony were officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture; Councillors of the St. Catherine Parish Council; and Custos of St. Catherine, Rev. Sophia Azan.
The function was chaired by Mr. Pickersgill.

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