Take power from principals
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Given Jamaica's reputation as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, I strongly believe we should do all in our power to put in place checks and balances into all aspects of business activity, whether private or public, to counter this perception.
One area of concern that is not given much attention is the almost limitless power school principals have in the appointment of senior teachers and other staff. Sometimes we tend to overlook the operation of a school as being corrupt. However, this can be far from the truth, especially in a context where job security is important and where teaching jobs are becoming fewer and fewer.
It would be a useful exercise to establish a unit to look into all promotions of staff by school principals. In fact, the appointment of senior teachers should be taken completely out of the domain of school principals and an independent body be given responsibility for making such recommendations.
Of course, the principal would be allowed to recommend to this unit teachers who he/she thinks should be made senior staff. This is not to say that principals are corrupt; however, we need to strive for transparency.