Dalrymple-Philbert does not oppose study leave suspension
The Opposition Spokesperson on Education, Marissa Dalrymple-Philbert has said she is not opposed to the suspension of certain leave entitlements to teachers.
However, speaking in the Sectoral Debate in parliament this afternoon she urged the education ministry to hold urgent consultation with teachers regarding the matter.
She has also suggested that the education ministry consult with the various institutions to see whether some of their courses could be made more flexible to facilitate teachers.
Dalrymple-Philbert says this could reduce the need for teachers to take study leave.
It costs the Government $2.5 billion per year to cover teachers on study leave, with $574 million owed to schools for substitute teachers.
Dalrymmple-Philbert is questioning how the $2.5 billion saving to be realised from the suspension of certain leave entitlements to teachers will be spent.
She has also also asked whether the $574 million owed to substitute teachers will now be paid.
Dalrymple-Philbert also called for greater screening of individuals who apply to be trained as teachers, she argues that the current policy used by the education ministry to employ teachers impacts on the quality of teachers in the classrooms.
She says there’s an urgent need to attract the right people to the profession and then groom them into good instructors.
Dalrymple-Philbert says students must not only be taught to pass exams but should also be prepared to face other situations as well.
She further said that, once the right teachers are selected, priority must be placed on the provision of teachers with a good starting salary.
The Cabinet has said it will not intervene in the impasse between the education ministry and the teachers at this time.
The Jamaica Teachers' Association has decided to suspend its monthly meetings with the Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites, while it holds consultation on the matter with its members.
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