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Robots not equipped to replace teachers – JTA president

Published:Wednesday | November 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson
Garth Anderson, president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association.

Albert Ferguson, Gleaner Writer


Dr Garth Anderson, president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association, said robots cannot and will not replace the teacher in the classroom, despite the latest technological advancements in gadgets which are being used to give instructions to students.

“Teachers are indeed the heartbeat of the society, and there is no doubt that technology has changed how the heart of teaching is performed and practised,” said Anderson, who was speaking at the 11th Dialogue Forum of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, in Montego Bay.

“Despite this, the teacher, I believe, will not ultimately be replaced by technologies in the classroom. This is the case as the nature of teaching is far more than relaying information, but instead has a high degree of human interaction, an investment of self in the lives of those we teach,” Anderson said. “This is a kind of interaction, ladies and gentlemen, that the robots just cannot provide.”

Anderson went on to explain the dynamics of teaching, noting that it is designed to unlock the competitive skills that are needed globally. 

“Teaching, in my mind, is an engagement of the human soul to unearth all its potentials and nurture these to create the human being who has a full understanding of themselves, their neighbours, the environment, and are equipped with globally competitive skills,” the JTA president said.

“Consequently, as a result of the many changes that technology has had on the process of teaching and the education systems, the world's teachers cannot become complacent,” added Anderson.

Anderson said teachers must seek to be on the cutting edge of technological developments so that they can effectively manipulate them in order to be on par with the ever-changing teaching-learning environment.

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