Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Teacher pay for young graduates

Published:Thursday | September 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

A teacher affects eternity! But how much resources are put in place to ensure that their great impact continues? As we commence another academic year, it is incumbent, as a teacher-trainer, to address the inadequate remuneration that Jamaican teachers are given.

I suppose that these new colleagues received the news with great excitement when they were informed that they had been selected for the post. This is a moment of relief for many as they are now able to bounce back, especially after sacrificing so much in obtaining a college education. But, not before long they will probably start to shed tears when they get their first pay cheque later this month.

Giving that most degrees are not made available until January each year, trained teachers will have to settle for pretrained salaries until they get that paper in hand. In addition to that, they will have to wait for their degrees to be processed by the Ministry of Education before they start getting their required salary. This, again, might be a lengthy process. Based on dialogue with newly recruits over the past two years, I was told that the take-home salary is just around $60,000. Now, what exactly can that do?

I believe more should be done so that our teachers can be better compensated. The current set-up is rather ridiculous. In other systems, university graduates receive their certificates in the summer or they get a provisional document that gives them the same rights to full remuneration. The governing authorities need to explore possible ways in which graduates can obtain their degrees at an earlier time and for them to be processed by the respective ministries. The teaching profession is already well known for its unattractive working conditions, but let's not make it more difficult for our new colleagues, because it is very challenging when starting out as a young professional.

Oneil Madden

Teacher-trainer

Universite Clermont-Auvergne, France

Oneil.MADDEN@etu.uca.fr