Teachers should not settle for less
Published: Tuesday | April 21, 2009
As a former teacher it baffles me that so many people, especially the Government, believe that teachers do not need money. The recent announcement by Education Minister Andrew Holness in Parliament that the Government would not be able to find the $7 billion to pay them retroactive amounts due is another blow to this already undermined profession.
A teacher goes to college for four years or more and graduates with the same degree as a classmate who goes into the private sector. Yet, the classmate who goes into the private sector is sometimes paid up to three times as much as the teacher with the same qualification. It is interesting to see politicians, some of whom have no special qualification outside of the ability to 'gab', justifying their oversized salary. It is full time that teachers get the respect they deserve.
We are treated all the time with the lip service diatribe from all sectors of society about how teachers are so important and so necessary, but there is hardly any outcry about them being underpaid. It is as if teachers should be thankful for the little 'something' the Government is paying them and wait until the economy is fixed to get a little more. Then the same people would complain when our teachers fly off to greener pastures.
It is time for the Government to recognise the qualification of teachers, not only their efforts. Teachers are not paid as other sectors of the society with comparable qualifications. The teachers of Jamaica should not settle for less.
I am, etc.,