JTA to propose strategies to retain teachers
The newly installed president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) Howard Isaacs, says the association will be making recommendations on how the government can address the problem of teacher migration.
According to Isaacs, the JTA’s Education and Research Committee will take on the task of reviewing the matter and putting forward proposals.
He said the teacher’s union is also concerned about the high number of teachers leaving Jamaica each year for jobs overseas.
Isaacs, in his inaugural address as JTA president last night said the situation requires consultation on developing critical strategies and not "knee-jerk" reactions.
Meanwhile, the JTA president says the education ministry should hold consultations and undertake an analysis before going ahead with any plan to incentivise teachers to remain in the classroom.
The education ministry has indicated that it considering providing incentives for specialist teachers such as math and science educators as part of a retention strategy.
But, Isaacs says the ministry should tread carefully.
Last week, Education Minister, Senator Ruel Reid, said the migration of seasoned maths teachers contributed to this year's decline in student performance in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate.
This year, the region recorded a 44 per cent pass rate in maths compared with 57 per cent in 2015.
In Jamaica, maths passes declined by 14 percentage points.
The JTA president said losing high quality teachers means that Jamaica’s education system is hemorrhaging and this may have long term implications.