Hopeton Henry, outgoing president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association. -Rudolph Brown/Chief Photographer
The Ministry of Education and Youth is one step closer to licensing the island's teachers, as it is now in the process of hiring a chief executive officer (CEO) to head the Jamaica Teaching Council.
In a newspaper advertisement on Sunday, the Education Ministry said the agency will be responsible for the enhancement and maintenance of professional standards in teaching, teacher registration and licensing and accreditation of teacher certification.
The CEO will direct the design, implementation and maintenance of the national teachers register and direct the administration of the accreditation of teacher certification.
Without first degrees
The licensing of teachers is one of the recommendations of the task force report on education. The aim is to ensure that the island's more than 24,000 teachers complete a bachelor's degree. Some 17,000 teachers are without a first degree.
Jasper Lawrence, chief education officer in the Ministry of Education and Youth, said the Education Transformation team and the ministry will be working out the details of the council with the CEO and then it would be established. He, however, did not give a time frame for this to happen.
The ministry also advertised for CEOsfor regional education agencies, the Curriculum and Assessment Agency and the National Education Inspectorate.
Meanwhile, Hopeton Henry, outgoing president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), yesterday welcomed the ministry's plans to establish the Jamaica Teaching Council.
"The licensing of teachers is something we have been anticipating, and I know it will be a great step in advancing the professionalisation of teachers," Mr. Henry told The Gleaner.
He noted that the licensing system would force teachers to upgrade their qualifications at least every five years.
"This is an advancement for education," the JTA head said.