JIS News

Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, has called on teachers to exercise the highest standards of moral leadership in the classroom.
The Minister, who was the guest speaker at the 2008 graduation exercise of the Bethlehem Moravian College held on November 29 at the college campus in St. Elizabeth, argued that poor moral leadership in the classroom is reflected in the performance of students, and standards of behaviour at school.
“Teachers occupy a unique space in society. They must be role models to students and provide moral direction. Their authority should extend beyond instructional authority to moral authority in the classroom. Teachers are moral leaders and moralising agents, who should take some responsibility for developing students’ belief systems,” he stated.
He noted that while the home environment and parents are primarily responsible for the moral development of students, teachers must also play an important role.
According to the Education Minister, teacher leadership is not about “teacher power,” rather, “it is about mobilising the still largely untapped attributes of teachers to strengthen student performance and behaviour. In the truest sense of the word, teachers are leaders, and it is unarguable that they instil, mould, and ultimately control much of the learning and intellectual development of the young in their charge.”
Good teacher leadership, he said, is essential in choosing textbooks and instructional material, shaping the curriculum, setting the standards for student behaviour, and deciding which students are placed in special classes.
School administrators, the Education Minister stated, must also display the highest ethical and moral conduct in delivering and meeting education targets, including expending school budgets, evaluating teacher performance, selecting new teachers and administrators, designing staff development and in-service programmes, and setting promotion and retention policies.