Mon | Sep 16, 2019

A strong JTA is in the best interest of Ja, says Anderson - Outgoing president urges teachers to remain united

Published:Tuesday | August 20, 2019 | 12:17 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Garth Anderson
Garth Anderson

WESTERN BUREAU:

Dr Garth Anderson, the outgoing Jamaica Teachers’ Association president, is lamenting that the nation’s teachers are still facing a major struggle to meet their basic needs because of their meagre salaries.

In May last year, the nation’s teachers signed a wage agreement with the Government for a 16 per cent increase over a four-year period, covering the period 2017 to 2021. Despite this, Anderson said the teachers are still facing significant challenges in executing their duties.

“The struggles of teachers are many – poor remuneration, indiscipline [from students], stress, and a lack of adequate resources,” Anderson said as he addressed the opening session of the JTA’s 55th annual conference at the Hilton Rose Hall in Montego Bay, St James, yesterday.

“The lack of respect for our professional opinions, lack of parental support, and the list goes on and on,” he added in highlighting issues affecting educators.

Stronger JTA

Anderson, who will demit office during the three-day conference, said the JTA is looking at best practices in its quest to make the organisation stronger so that the country’s education sector can derive the best benefits possible from its members.

“We are acutely aware of the sacrifices you make almost daily to build this noble organisation,” he told the teachers. “Building the JTA is in the best interest of building the teaching profession and, I dare say, in the best interest of Jamaica.”

Anderson is urging the teachers to unshackle themselves from the long list of challenges facing the profession, saying that securing victory for the education sector will depend largely on a united teaching profession.

“In order for us to claim victory on behalf of our members, the teachers, the teaching profession and the education system, we must remain a united force,” he said.

The annual conference, at which teachers strategise and develop policies to improve their efficiency, is being held under the theme ‘Retooling, Innovating and Networking for Sustainable Development’.