Sat | Aug 19, 2017

No teacher shortage - Reid

Published:Wednesday | September 21, 2016 | 9:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Ruel Reid, minister of education, and Rebecca Tortello, education specialist, greet Rhys Greenland at the United Nation’s The World’s Largest Lesson initiative at Campion College, Hope Road, St Andrew, on Monday.

The uncertainty surrounding whether the new academic year would be hit by teacher shortage has been put to rest. Education Minister Ruel Reid said on Monday that so far, there have been no reports of educators leaving the system.

The exodus of teachers was among several factors which he identified as reasons for the stark decline in the 2016 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) mathematics examination.

"By the end of October, we will have a general picture of what is taking place, because as we speak, there are movements taking place. Some schools are not even aware yet whether teachers are not returning," he said at the press conference held in August.

 

MOVEMENTS A CHALLENGE

 

"In my experience, unfortunately, they do not tell you whether they are leaving or not. Even if you ask, the answer may not necessarily be accurate, so it's a challenge. You are really not going to know until school resumes," he continued.

However, in an interview with The Gleaner on Monday, Reid said that he has had no such reports, adding that work is under way to address gaps in the CSEC examinations.

"As I speak now, I have not received any adverse reports that there are any shortage of teachers. I have not been informed of teacher spaces that are not being filled. So it seems to me that the system has been able to replenish itself," he said.

Referring to his plans to bring 50 math coaches into the system, Reid said, "That is happening apace, we have started the math consortium and we are to have a meeting this week to streamline those programmes. Just to reiterate that the broad programme in terms of deployment, the issues of focused preparation, will occur and will take place. More details will be given shortly. But all the plans are coming together."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com