Teachers Volunteer for Relocation to Different Schools

Photo: Mark Bell Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites (right), consults with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Elaine Foster Allen (centre); and Chief Education Officer in the Ministry, Grace McLean, during a back to school press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston, on August 23.

Story Highlights

  • Some 100 teachers have volunteered to be relocated to larger and higher level institutions
  • Relocation is not punitive, but rather it is to correct a system that is unsustainable
  • Most schools have principals in place for the start of the 2013/14 academic year

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says some 100 teachers, many from primary schools, have volunteered to be relocated to larger and higher level institutions.

Rev. Thwaites, who made the disclosure during a back-to-school press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in Kingston on August 23, said the Ministry has been receiving significant cooperation from teachers to whom the proposal was made.

He said they have consented to do so in order to optimise the use of the education sector’s human resource. This, he pointed out “begins a process which we expect to accelerate over the next few years, and the principle at work is one of voluntary relocation.”

“So far a hundred and more (teachers) have agreed to be relocated and these cover all regions, schools, and types. This is a good start and we trust that many more will understand that the idea of relocation is not punitive, but rather it is to correct a system that is unsustainable…Many of the teachers wish to move from smaller primary schools to larger institutions where they can have a much greater input,” the Minister informed.

Rev. Thwaites noted that the undertaking is consistent with the contents of the government’s Letter of Intent submitted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for funding support, which, among other things, resulted in the signing of a US$932.3 million our-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) in May.

He indicated that the Letter ‘calls for the rationalisation of teacher assignment in our schools” and suggests that it be done ‘voluntarily and if not, mandatorily’. “We are however, proceeding with voluntary relocation,” he added.

The Minister expressed gratitude to the teachers who opted to be reassigned, adding that “it will improve their professional experience”.

In the meantime, Rev. Thwaites said most schools have principals in place for the start of the 2013/14 academic year, which starts on September 2.

“Less than 50 are pending in this regard, and in those cases, it’s purely a matter of procedure; where vacancies exist, competent persons have been appointed to act,” he added.

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