LETTER OF THE DAY - Negative stats should be JTA's sole business
THE EDITOR, Sir:My friends and I have given more than 50 years each to teaching, at all levels in Jamaica, and we are disturbed at the upheavals in the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA), where some of us still hold membership.
It's just a pity, however, a Ministry of Education report shows a negative growth in terms of education.
When we went to elementary school, many classes were separated by blackboards, everybody could read, and there were inspectors who would visit and pick out children at random. And I believe every child could read before leaving at 15 years old.
Now, with all the specialists and consultants, our children are leaving school without being able to read. The latest negative statistics and reports should be JTA's sole business at this time.
Senior teachers, like myself, who come from the OLD SCHOOL when grammar was taught and when teachers were respected and were themselves respectful of authority, are hopping mad to hear some JTA officials speak English and also to watch their antics and rabble-rousing tactics on television. Fresh in our minds is the 'mongrel dog' episode, the loud cheers of some teachers, and the victory votes given to the main offender. This cannot be right even when staged in grand hotels. The missing word, in this instance, could be DISCRETION.
"Some young teachers have mashed up JTA. We've lost our dignity", one veteran with 60 years' service to education said, and we agreed. In our corner, we feel JTA should be working closely with the ministry and not appear to be ready to attack and contradict and 'trace'.
Millions of dollars have gone missing from the JTA account because of poor management. JTA now has a problem regarding accountability.
These brilliant young teachers have confirmed, in a way, rumours that, like the police, they know how to run and win elections.
Look how cheating and stuffed boxes have turned up and it took one good teacher to point the finger at the other and level accusations of magic votes.
JTA should quickly find two other presidential candidates and put the fighting to rest.