You must teach water conservation – Thwaites told teachers
Speaking against the background of the drought now affecting the country, Education Minister the Reverend Ronald Thwaites wants water conservation to be taught in schools starting this September.
"I am asking our teachers and principals, please to make sure that September becomes a time for teaching water conservation, the realities of climate change, and the likelihood of enduring drought," Thwaites said during his keynote address at the 51st annual Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay Wednesday.
"Many times I go to schools and the drinking system is on perpetually," noted Thwaites. "We have to teach our children, for it is part of our education and essential for survival, that water is life, and we have to learn how to conserve it and use it responsibly."
The education minister made his appeal while announcing that the Ministry of Education has collaborated with the National Water Commission (NWC) to deliver water to schools that have storage tanks. This is in response to the ongoing drought, which has affected the country's water supply and distribution.
"In response to the drought being experienced, we have made arrangements with the NWC to provide water to the schools that have tanks, and I am informed that the Ministry of Education has an allotment for the purchase of tanks for those schools that are going to need them but do not now have water storage," Thwaites said.
"You should make sure that your school is noted so that we can try to do that within the limited time and modest resources that we have. We are aware that the NWC's capacity, both to access water and truck water to serve the school, is very limited," continued Thwaites.
"I call upon teachers and principals to interact with the NWC by the direct hotline. It will be publicised fully within the next week who are being assigned by the NWC to deal exclusively with you, the persons responsible for our schools."
The education minister's presentation marked the climax of the three-day conference in which the JTA delegates voted to accept the Government's offer of a seven per cent wage increase over the 2015-2017 contract period.