JTA honours 50 teachers
FIFTY EDUCATORS who have given dedicated service to the education sector were honoured by the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) Thursday night.
The awards ceremony, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, was one of several ceremonies to commemorate the association's 50th anniversary celebrations.
Several past presidents of the JTA were also given special awards.
Guest speaker Dr Orville Taylor, senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, charged the teachers to continue imparting knowledge to the youth. He noted that students need role models, and educators are in the perfect position to mould their minds.
"We want to see our young men and women looking at our teachers and say, 'I want to be like him or her'," said Taylor, who is also a talk-show host.
He lauded the JTA for its 50 years of existence and noted that while many organisations have failed over the years, the JTA has stood firm and continues to fight for the rights of teachers.
EMBRACE NATURAL JUSTICE
"Teachers, you are indeed making a difference, but sit not on your laurels. Be fair to each other … . There is a statistic that I discovered some months ago, … about some of the disputes in your own profession and people getting terminated … . I don't care what you think about a person's innocence or guilt, we have something called the rules of natural justice, follow that," Taylor said amid applause.
In his remarks, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites also saluted the teachers, saying there was no doubt that teachers are committed to the youth. Thwaites pointed to an institution where one teacher was supervising four classes because her colleagues were out sick because they were experiencing chikungunya-like symptoms.
Angela Walker of deCarteret College, who responded on behalf of her colleagues, said it was a privilege for the educators to be recognised by the JTA.
"It is indeed a great feeling to be recognised by our professional association … , as it marks the golden milestone of 50 years. As awardees, we are aware that we are mere representatives of the thousands who have served … . We accept the awards with a spirit of humility as well as a sense of pride and collective engagement."