After a decade, trained teacher yet to spend a day in classroom
No regrets after opting for industry, business, says Glaves
When Shamoui Glaves enrolled at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) in 2008 to read for a Bachelor in Education degree, he had all intention to mould young minds as an educator. However, despite graduating a decade ago with a BEd in...
When Shamoui Glaves enrolled at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) in 2008 to read for a Bachelor in Education degree, he had all intention to mould young minds as an educator.
However, despite graduating a decade ago with a BEd in Industrial Technology, majoring in construction, he has not set foot in the classroom.
Glaves went on to establish his own business in Runaway Bay, St Ann, after several years in the field working at a government agency.
“I have never taught a day in my life, in the classroom, collecting a salary,” Glaves told The Gleaner.
“I’d done teaching practice, but upon leaving UTech, I went to work at the National Work Agency (NWA). It wasn’t so bad. I just left about two months ago. I’m fully in my business right now.”
That venture is a combination of three entities he started while still at NWA – KAG Stockpile and Hardware Supplies, KAG Block Factory, and KAG Jerk Centre – all at one location along the Runaway Bay main road.
“One of the main things why I didn’t go into teaching is because it is very hard in Jamaica for a young person to maintain a certain kind of lifestyle as a teacher because they’re not being compensated enough. That is one. And they’re not appreciated enough, which is also another main issue,” the York Castle High past student explained.
School administrators have been sounding the alarm bells over a looming teacher shortage crisis ahead of the official start of the new academic year next week. There has been a wave of resignations islandwide, with many teachers heading overseas to take up job offers.
Education Minister Fayval Williams has downplayed the extent of the crisis, saying at a press conference last week that 167 teachers had resigned since July. She added that some 964 specialist teachers who recently completed their studies are available for employment, although not all will be flowing naturally into the schools.
The Jamaica Teachers’ Association has estimated that some 600 educators will not return to the classroom next week as a result of retirement, resignations, and leave entitlements.
Looking in on the migration-induced jitters in the education sector now, Glaves believes teachers should always choose what is best for themselves, whether by leaving for overseas or remaining in Jamaica.
“What I’d say to the teachers who are giving up today as they’re not properly compensated [is that] there are other opportunities out there. I wouldn’t tell a person to stick around if they don’t know what they’re sticking around for,” he said. “I don’t know about overseas, if it will be better, if it will be easier, but I would tell anybody, try to make the best of your personal life. The decision is your personal thing.”
Glaves is grateful for the education he has received and is willing to enter the classroom on a part-time basis.
“I’ve reached out to a few of my principal friends, telling them that I have a little time on my hands. If need be, I would want to give back to my community in the best way that I can because my community is what made me who I am. So, for me to go into teaching right now, it would not be about the money. For me, it would be about giving back to my community.”