Jamaica loses 167 teachers to migration
KINGSTON – The Jamaica government on Monday confirmed that an estimated 167 teachers had left their positions in the school system here over the past two months.
“Teachers, like everyone else, make very personal decisions to migrate and we are sorry to see them go but we respect their decisions…obviously resignations that would have happened in the last school year, we would have seen where many of those would have been filled and so those would not be in this number that I am quoting to you this morning,” Education Minister Fayval Williams told a news conference.
“Of course, we are still getting information from our school principals and so this number (167) could change as we move towards the end of August and into September. The new school year begins on the 5th of September and even up to that time there may be resignations,” she added,
Williams, who was addressing teacher migration, told reporters that although the numbers may raise alarm, the situation is under control.
She said that the Ministry has implemented several strategies to mitigate any potential falling out from the mass migration and that 964 specialist teachers, who have just completed their studies, are now available for employment in the national school system.
Last week, the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) warned of the exodus of teachers this year, noting that over 400 have left the island to take up lucrative job opportunities in the United States.
Williams told reporters that “looking at our 2022 teacher training graduates by specialisation, I see Accounting majors, Biology, Chemistry teachers, Computer Science teachers, Business Education teachers, I see 111 Early Childhood Education teachers.
“We have some 29 English double majors, we have 140 Mathematics double majors…we have some Physical Education teachers as well. We’re seeing primary education teachers, 259 of those and we’re seeing Social Studies, Spanish, French for a total of 964 teachers with specialisation who would have graduated from our teacher education institutions this year and I am sure many of those would be taking up appointments in our schools.”
She said that of the 964 teachers that are now available to enter the government teaching system, 121 are bonded for five years having completed their studies through the Ministry’s special scholarship programme. They are expected to take up positions in the upcoming school year.
“Among them are 67 Mathematics teachers, 32 teachers of Physics and Chemistry and 17 with Industrial Education specialisation.
“We do have teachers coming in under the Jamaica/Cuba bilateral programme. We have 70 teachers there. We have a framework agreement with the Cuban government under which we bring in these teachers into our system,” said Williams adding that retired teachers may also be sought out to fill any gaps resulting from migration.
But she noted that only those who have retired from January 2018 to present will be eligible to fill the positions. (CMC)