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Silence is golden, Ronnie

Published:Friday | June 14, 2013 | 12:00 AM


Many years ago, when I was a youngster in school, emphasis was placed on the phrase 'silence is golden'. It was used as part of our penmanship exercise and also as punishment for the talkative ones who were asked to write it 200 times.

Minister Ronald Thwaites and his advisers need to heed that advice. They are clearly clueless as far as leave and employment go. Long before the International Monetary Fund was a boy, there has always been rejection of leave applications.

I worked in one of the regional offices, and as far as I know, determination of leave and the recruitment of teachers was the remit of the regional director and his/her staff. The permanent secretary and the chief education officer allowed the directors a free hand to work the system and, despite the occasional dissatisfaction, it worked. If it is not broken, leave it alone.

The need for press conferences and announcements has served to disturb a nest that was previously unmolested and has given rise to an out-of-control education minister.

While the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) and ministry officials continue their bickering, the children of Jamaica are no better off. Both parties need to understand that schooling is about children, not about us.

I therefore urge the JTA to get its house in order and for the minister to write 500 times, 'silence is golden'.