JTA conference puts focus on gender equality
Dr Grace McLean, acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, says Jamaica is at a point that it can seriously impact policy changes to achieve gender equality in education.
“I believe, however, ladies and gentlemen, with all the research that would have been conducted, we are now at a place where we can seriously look at gender with the data available and make decisions as to how we can ensure equal opportunities for all our children. They are all our babies and they are all very important as we prepare them for life,” McLean said yesterday while addressing the Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s (JTA) 18th Annual Education Conference on gender and the teaching profession in Montego Bay.
“One of your own, past president Professor Errol Miller, has an extensive body of work which points to specific social construct and historical factors that may have led to the reasons we look at girls differently in relation to boys,” said McLean. “Dr Leith Dunn herself would have done a significant body of work at the University of the West Indies as well.”
McLean congratulated the JTA for the conference’s focus on the implications of gender inequality on teaching and learning, saying that it points to an area in which educators need to look.
“I am looking forward to the decisions that will be made or will be suggested out of this conference, where the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information can take these, reflect on our policies, and make changes as would be necessary, for us to be able to continue to impact the lives of our children.”
McLean said the ministry will continue to work through the Jamaica Teaching Council, the National College for Educational Leadership and the various regional networks to ensure that continuous support is provided to the nation’s children.
“Our mission is to encourage and help educators to continue to explore innovative teaching approaches that will result in making all our boys and our girls’ productive citizens and providing for themselves and their families,” added McLean.