Sat | Dec 4, 2021

23 guidance counsellors in one high school, ministry frustrated

Published:Monday | December 16, 2013 | 5:37 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



Pointing to a poor performing Corporate Area high school with 23 guidance counsellors and only two mathematics teachers, the Education Ministry has expressed frustration at efforts to get teachers to voluntarily relocate to schools where they are most needed.




The Ministry has explained that most of the 23 teachers are trained in guidance and counselling but are teaching other subjects for which they are also trained.



The 1980 Education Regulation forbids the transfer of teachers and as a result, the Government cannot unilaterally move teachers to areas where it is determined that they are most needed.



At a meeting with stakeholders last week, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites disclosed that since the start of new school year, 200 teachers have participated in the voluntary relocation effort.



However he said this is inadequate, as there are more than 1,000 inefficiently deployed teachers in the education system.



Thwaites said efforts to relocate some teachers have been blocked even where there are clear areas of need.



In relation to the unidentified Corporate Area High school, Thwaites described the school with approximately 2,000 students, as performing very poorly.



He said while most of the academic staff have advanced academic qualifications, there are only two mathematics teachers, compared to the 23 trained-guidance counsellors.



The Education Minister said under Jamaica’s programme with the International Monetary Fund, if voluntary relocation does not work, it will have to be legislated.



He said it's hoped that the Jamaica Teachers’ Association and the Ministry will come to an agreement on making the necessary changes.



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