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Rethink unwise plan to enforce teacher speciality

Published:Friday | April 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Quite a lot has been made out recently regarding the new regulations which the Ministry of Education, through the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC), is seeking to govern the teaching profession.

In essence, the JTC will have responsibility for the enhancement and maintenance of professional standards in teaching, and the professional status of teachers. Its principal functions will be the development of the registration and licensing standards and the accreditation of teacher certification.

While I laud this move, I believe there is a major fault with one of the outlines of the proposed rules, namely, that teachers can only teach in the subject area that they were trained in.

lacking on-the-job skills

Although this is what obtains in many other countries, such as the United States and England, there are many teachers who are practising outside their areas of specialised training. Many of these teachers, therefore, lack the on-the-job skills needed to operate within their study area.

Moreover, many of these said professionals are excellent in the area they are currently employed in! In fact, many teachers at the primary level were trained in secondary subject areas, and many high-school teachers are actually primary trained!

I believe what should obtain is that years of service in a particular area be used as one condition to be considered to grant accreditation to be licensed within that area. This would solve many problems, least of which is, how does the ministry propose to relocate thousands of teachers currently affected by this situation?

CHRISTOPHER DUBIDAD

St Andrew