Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
Taking into consideration the distance some teachers travel to their jobs and the possible effect it can have on students' development, Jamaica College (JC) has built a number of apartments on campus to accommodate professionals.
The living quarters, which were built in conjunction with the National Housing Trust and the Jamaica College Trust, was constructed to the tune of more than $45 million and can house up to 12 teachers.
JC principal, Ruel Reid, said the project, which is an extension of the school's housing project, is part of the school's incentive and development programme.
"We have about 100 teachers, and, naturally, it is expensive for many persons to live in Kingston, and, particularly, it is expensive for those teachers who live outside of Kingston. We also have a lot of co-curricular activities, so persons are now able to stay longer hours to work with the students," Reid added.
He continued: "So all of that is part of what we have as a comprehensive incentive programme to motivate our teachers and to ensure that they are committed to the work at Jamaica College."
Compromised extra-curricular activities
Indicating that there are teachers at the school who are from as far away as Montego Bay, St Elizabeth, and Clarendon, Reid said the long distances could compromise the hours they spent in after-school events.
"If it wasn't for our houses on campus, then some of the teachers would have had to travel, or others would be living off campus, paying extremely high costs. It is a tremendous advantage. Co-curricular activities are an extended-hour activity, and so teachers don't have to worry and rush to go home because they basically live on campus," he said
Reid said teachers wishing to take up the offer at the school are expected to meet the criteria - which include being dedicated to improving the standards of the students - set by the institution.
"It is available to any teacher who needs it on condition that they are very involved in the life of the school and performing very well because it is an incentive," he added.
"As employers, you have to be able to motivate your employees, and I think that to the extent that the organisation goes out of its way to make the staff comfortable, then you will see that in their own commitment and their level of productivity," Reid argued.
An official opening of the apartments is schedule for January 31.