A recent letter from a "Disheartened Teacher" about the conduct of Mr Doran Dixon, president-elect of the JTA, at the recently concluded JTA conference caught my eye. I'm pretty sure that teacher spoke, not just for the majority of teachers -- including some who voted for Mr Dixon after he used the pejorative of "mongrel dog" to describe the Hon Minister of Education -- but for all well-thinking Jamaicans.
Having gone with an olive branch, the minister did not deserve such boorish hostility from one whose job gives him significant influence over future teachers in one of Jamaica's most noble institutions -- The Mico University College.
In a democratic organisation like the JTA, however, majority rules, so JTA will have to live with "lion-hearted cat" Mr Dixon's behaviour for three long years because his elevation to the top brass starts from president-elect, to president, to immediate past president, unless JTA's rules make provision for recall. Failing that, many more will be holding their heads down when he takes a podium in the future.
Indeed, a very good example of "be careful what you wish for".
I also note with keen interest the debate on this subject, which is near and dear to my heart. My simple contribution is, someone with a pass in CSEC mathematics, who has not done further studies in math since passing CSEC; he/she could even have a dozen degrees, even to the level of PhD, is still not qualified to teach CSEC math.
Math is like music "use it or lose it", so someone not active in further learning and constant practice of math cannot teach it to others at the same level they have achieved.
In my opinion, to teach math at the secondary level requires, in addition to CSEC Math, Add Math, CAPE 1&2, and Further Math, along with a high level of mastery in pedagogy. There is the pervasive attitude that you don't need a good command of English to teach Math. I totally disagree. We are dealing with education!
Trevor L A Blake