THE EDITOR, Sir:
I write to you as a retired teacher, and out of great disappointment. My concern is not so much with the classroom (grade or subject) teachers, but with those set to supervise: the Ministry of Education, the school board, and the principals.
Since I'm no longer with the profession, I can neither be dismissed nor can I be judged unethical. I can thus write freely. I, however, wish to remain anonymous.
I have no reservations in saying that some of our education ministry's regional offices are in desperate need of cleaning. So much so that some are referred to as 'The Club' - meaning, once you are a member or have friends or family there, you are able to get, and get away with, just about anything!
This is evident in the number of so-called principals placed in schools who were once working under the ministry's banner as literacy or numeracy specialists. Many of these 'specialists' did nothing more than download information and ideas from the Internet and reproduce it at workshops.
Some of these individuals have no training in primary education, no experience teaching in a primary school, or no experience in a supervisory position, but they were not only made 'specialists' in primary education, but were placed in schools as principals as soon as their tenure ended.
These 'principals' are so elated that they do not realise that as supervisors, their role is to motivate their staff. On the contrary, they disrespect their staff and unload their responsibilities on them (as they have no idea what needs to be done). If these principals attend school twice per week, the students have to be grateful. Some of them even have second jobs which they boast about. The schools are taking a plunge, while the board and parents sit and whisper!
It's time school boards realise both their power and responsibility. It is also time the Ministry of Education (the minister, his advisers, and others in authority) do their house-cleaning and attack the real problems in education and stop playing school - creating ridiculous policies which do nothing for education but provide jobs for friends and family!
Parents and the entire communities, too, need to play their part. They are stakeholders and have the greatest investment to lose: their children.
They need to find out what is happening in their schools and to speak out. Do they know they can actually look at teachers' plans? Do they know that they should form the executive body of the PTA? Do they know the responsibility and power of the PTA?
Take a look at the operations of Bybrook Primary School, Bloomfield Primary, Mt Hermon Primary and Junior High, Rock Hall Primary, Windsor Forest Primary, Windsor Castle All-Age, Fellowship Primary and Fair Prospect High!
Port Antonio and Orange Bay,