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New JTA president wants education cost added to nat'l Budget

Published:Tuesday | August 22, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Georgia Waugh Richards (left), the newly installed 53rd president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), shakes hands with Julian Monrose (right), president of the Caribbean Union of Teachers, during the JTA's 53rd annual conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay on Monday night. Also pictured are Norman Allen (second left), past JTA president for the 2015-16 conference year, and Howard Isaacs, immediate past president for the 2016-17 conference year.


Georgia Waugh Richards, the newly installed president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), is calling on the Government to include the cost of education for Jamaica's children in the national budget.

She made the appeal to Education Minister Ruel Reid in her presidential address at the JTA's 53rd annual conference in Montego Bay on Monday night.

"The time is right, Mr Minister, for us to face the truth about education funding. We need teachers to teach and administrators to lead. We therefore call upon our Ministry of Education and our Government to engage in research as to the real cost of educating one Jamaican child, and we ask that this research finding be a critical part of crafting the national Budget," said Waugh Richards.

The JTA president said that, in many cases, teachers have to go beyond the call of duty to carry out their mandate of educating students.

"A typical day may require the teacher to remain after school to participate in committee meetings geared toward raising funds to bolster the funding given to us by the Ministry of Education," said Waugh Richards. "We are not asking to be paid for every single task that we undertake, for our students' interest and progress are foremost in our minds, but we want all of us to understand that, in the scheme of 'value added', this is what we do on a daily basis."

Waugh Richards was sworn in as the JTA's 53rd president, replacing immediate past president Howard Isaacs. She was also recognised as the 11th woman to take command of the JTA.

The JTA's three-day conference, which is slated to end today, is being held under this year's theme 'Navigating the Education Land-scape: Transforming, Engaging, Collaborating, Facilitating and Leading.'