Fri | Dec 1, 2023

No performance pay without resources

Published:Tuesday | March 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I write in response to the letter 'Pay for performance', published on March 13, 2018.

The writer posits, "This is why I firmly believe that teachers should be paid based on their performance. Then we would not be having a debate on the issue of a teacher strike over wages." The writer appears to lack fundamental appreciation of the realities of the Jamaican classroom and the many challenges that teachers face.

The current classroom teacher is bombarded daily with students who are overly disruptive and who do not desire to learn. The majority of the schools in Jamaica are under-resourced and underfunded. As such, the fundamental teaching aids and other resources are woefully lacking.

These are the realities of the Jamaican classroom. How can we then, within such a context, advocate a policy to pay teachers based on performance? The teacher cannot be productive in this context.

When the Government of Jamaica can allocate increased fiscal support to the education system, then we can demand performance. When the family, community and other stakeholders understand their role in educational outcomes, then and only then would it be reasonable to pay teachers based on performance.