Leading scientist says Jamaica is weak in the field, supports better pay for subject teachers
Leading Jamaican scientist, Professor Errol Morrison, is supporting the Government's decision to consider paying science and maths-based teachers more than their other colleagues to keep them in Jamaican classrooms.
Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites, has opened the controversial debate on the matter, saying the government must find a way reduce the number of qualified teachers leaving Jamaica and safeguard the national interest.
Morrison, who is the director general of the National Commission on Science and Technology, says he welcomes the suggestion, arguing that Jamaica is weak in the sciences and there is a need to ensure the supply of qualified teachers.
Professor Morrison stresses that it should not be viewed that the arts are not important, adding that the country must focus on its weak areas that are critical to national development.
According to him, science, technology, engineering and mathematics have been identified as the key for development of any nation.
However, he notes that while better salaries can help retain qualified teachers, there must be focus on providing the necessary infrastructure for science education.
The Jamaica Teacher's Association is against the proposal, saying all teachers should get better salaries and not a select group.