I am a disgruntled and depressed teacher who recently graduated from a prestigious teachers' college in Jamaica. After a couple months in a high school, my colleagues and I received a letter from the Ministry of Education stating that without our diplomas we would not get paid, and possibly might lose our jobs. How absurd, I thought.
Fortunately, I am still in a job and getting paid, but some of my colleagues do not share the same fate. Recently, I spoke to a very close friend of mine at the other end of the island. With tears in her eyes and voice, she exclaimed that she feels hopeless because this will be another poverty-filled month hiding from her landlord.
She laments that some days she goes to school without bus fare to return home, without lunch, and on a couple occasions, while teaching, her stomach growls. She did her work, however. Another friend of mine says that many days he stayed on the field or under a tree with students, pretending that he had eaten lunch already. Yet another close friend noted that one day while teaching she was so hungry and depressed that she broke down in tears, and when asked what was wrong by her students she said she "lost a close friend".
Work without pay
What I cannot understand is, how does someone work without pay? Better yet, how does anyone produce success effectively, when the various methods and tools are not available? Like your salary?! It is confusing, depressing and, above all, slackness, that these same teachers that are employed to 'educate the nation's children' are not being looked after. How do you have a person working for two and three months without being paid? The public needs to made aware of the tardy work that the so-called people in power and their regional offices do. I pray, and ask you to pray for these teachers who are not being paid because of flimsy reasons, especially for those who are paying rent.
I am, etc.,