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JTA says due process not followed in teacher's dismissal

Published:Saturday | February 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer


The Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) says it has not accepted the decision of the board of Parry Town Primary School in St Ann to terminate the services of a teacher, as due process was not followed.

Aelieth Hoilett was served with a letter by the board terminating her services at the school, effective Wednesday.

This caused a protest on Wednesday by some parents and teachers who voiced support for Hoilett.

JTA regional officer for the north east, Devon Meeks, told The Gleaner that an emergency meeting was held at the school Thursday evening, involving the school board and Ministry of Education (MOE) officials.

According to Meeks, the termination letter, signed by the chairman of the board, stated that a meeting was held in order to assess the performance of temporary staff at the institution to determine their appointments for the period January-August 2010.

Based on the assessment, the letter stated, the decision was taken to terminate the services of Hoilett.

But Meeks said due process was not followed as the letter did not indicate any specific reason for the termination, as stipulated by Section 74 (1A) of the Education Regulations of 1980.

"The regulations require that the board indicate reason or reasons for the termination, and the letter cited no specific reason for the dismissal. The regulations prescribe steps to be taken by the principal and the board before any termination takes place," Meeks explained.

Meeks said the next step for the JTA would be to indicate to the school board and the ministry where the JTA has cited such breaches.

When The Gleaner tried to reach communications manager for the MOE, Colin Blair, he was said to be out of office.