Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Teachers should not fear pending licensing regime, says minister

Published:Saturday | April 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid (right) is greeted by Professor Paul Miller of the University of Huddersfield, president of the Institute for Educational Administration and Leadership – Jamaica (IEAL-J), when he arrived at the Papine campus of the University of Technology on Wednesday to deliver the IEAL-J’s 10th public lecture.

Education minister Ruel Reid is assuring teachers that the pending licensing and registration regime for the profession will serve to enhance their capacities and should not be feared.

"I don't want people to be afraid of [registration and licensing]. I think it will be good for the system," he said.

The minister was delivering the 10th public lecture of the Institute for Educational Administration and Leadership - Jamaica (IEAL-J) at the Papine campus of the University of Technology on Wednesday.

He pointed out that there were persons in the early-childhood sector who say they were teachers, yet were not trained or certified. He noted that this was one of the areas the regime would seek to address.

"It will mean, therefore, in the licensing regime, that people are trained, certified and serving appropriately based on their qualifications. So, you don't have people who are early-childhood specialists teaching grade nine and subjects that they are not actually qualified to do," he said.

This will be facilitated under the pending Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) bill, which seeks to provide for the establishment of a governing body for the teaching profession and institute a regime for licensing and registering of all government-paid teachers.

Reid said that much work has been done on the JTC bill, which is to undergo a final review this week "to make sure the last draft is consistent with what we have agreed to".

The minister said that following this, the legislation will then be taken to Cabinet, "and I hope to have it tabled in Parliament in short order".

"It will be my first major piece of legislation, and I think it will further position the education system on a path for sustainable growth and development," he said.