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JTA says it's in the dark on Charlie Smith/Trench Town high merger

Published:Thursday | January 22, 2015 | 1:18 PM

The Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) says it has not been formally notified of the proposed merger of the Trench Town and Charlie Smith high schools in St Andrew.



Education Minister Ronald Thwaites recently announced the merger of the schools following years of struggle with gang feuds and low student turnout.



Thwaites says both schools are running at less than half their capacity and the performance at Charlie Smith has been deemed to be way below standard.



JTA president, Doran Dixon, says the teachers’ union has not been formally informed of the proposal despite meeting with the ministry earlier this month.



However, he says in principle, the union supports the decision.



Dixon says there is a now a need for more details, as teachers, who are JTA members, will be impacted.



Meanwhile, spokesman for the Education Ministry, Byron Buckley, says the merger is still at the proposal stage.



He adds that all stakeholders will be consulted.



The ministry says a community meeting last week found the proposal favourable.



It is proposed that Trench Town High will accommodate students from the two schools while Charlie Smith is to be transformed into a career training institution.



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