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Special Advisor to Education Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness, Ruel Reid, has called on teachers to provide the necessary transformational leadership that will tackle the nation’s social ills, and, in the process, create a society of peace and high achievers.
He made this appeal while addressing a service at the Mandeville Parish Church in Manchester on Sunday (Aug. 16), to mark the start of the 45th Annual Conference of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA).
“As a moral agent you are called upon to make decisions that often favour one moral value over another. You must exercise your authority in an ethical way based on standards; indeed your conduct, then, must be deliberately moral. A leader’s moral duty expresses itself not only in the obvious day-to-day ethical dilemmas, but in the mundane policies and structures that may have hidden ethical implications,” he stated.
Mr. Reid added that “to be an ethical leader, then, is not a matter of following a few simple rules, as your responsibility may be complex and multi-dimensional. But it is rooted, more or less, in technical expertise and more in simple human integrity.”
He pointed out that the role of educators is consistently about achievement, and ensuring that success is attainable.
“The central moral purpose and commitment in education consists of constantly improving student achievement and ensuring that achievement gaps, wherever they exist, are narrowed,” he emphasised.
The Special Advisor to the Education Minister, in expressing his belief in the ability of young people to achieve success in any area, underscored that with application and hard work, they can achieve.
“Transformational leadership is about changing expectations, young people must first view themselves as important, influential social agents, and make the school environment a model for what we would wish to see in the wider society.”
“Yes, you can advance learning, peace and integrity in your schools, and your lives. Yes, you can use your education to generate change, and dedicate yourselves to excellence in your studies. Yes you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Yes you can change Jamaica right here, right now, in your schools,” Mr. Reid charged.

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