Pennywise, pound foolish
The Editor, Sir:
In the Gleaner of Saturday, April 24, the article, 'Teachers stop playing' was not merely an excellent play on words, but it should also be considered equally serious and instructive to all, in particular the powers that be who cannot be romping in times like these.
For even though some may argue that the Government cannot afford to pay, and that teachers are cruel in their intention to hold back on students, and that this will only result in the swelling of local gangs and their being implicated in more wrongdoing, the plight of our teachers, along with the overall implication of the human resource potential of our society in the PM's stubbornness, is bound to be at peril. This approach by the Government is, at best, short-sighted, not to mention unjust. Not to pay, is not merely playing with teachers but truly is tantamount to the basketball referee crying out foul when in fact there was no infringement on the part of the players.
Those who argue on the side of the Government and conversely against our local teachers probably have a point in their pronouncement (question) that if the teachers are in a mood to withhold their services, that the youth are bound to be adversely affected in some great way.
Will the quality remain?
Probably, though, the more salient questions that need to be posed and addressed by the powers that be are (1) If teachers continue to be drastically underpaid compared with those in other parts of the world, what quality teachers will Jamaica be able to attract to the profession? (2) If those who choose to be attracted to the profession at home are the least successful, qualified and motivated in our country, what quality students will they graduate into the field of work and for tertiary training? (3) How will this reality affect the development and economic growth of Jamaica in the long run?
I am, etc.,