JTA putting self-interest over students' welfare

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Editor,

I listened painstakingly to an interview on RJR's Hotline last Friday with the president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) Georgia Waugh-Richards taking issue with the reported soliciting of information on the teachers who participated in the industrial (sick-out) action during the wage negotiations with the Government last month.

In trying to defend her members, in what she insists was a sickness that had befallen so many of them on the same planned days (March 12 to March 14), she lamented that it was strange that the ministry required this information, when there was some understanding amongst the parties that there would be no victimisation.

She further questioned, most disconcertingly, the decision of the ministry to extend the school year by three days — which is to recoup the time lost as a result of her members' mysterious sickness.

Whether Waugh-Richards wants to accept it or not, there was a disruption in the public school system for three days, which saw many teachers and students being absent from several schools across the island.

This mass disruption, which occurred during a critical time when students were sitting exams, did not result from the action of any dedicated teacher, student or from any Ministry of Education directives. It was occasioned by her members' (those who participated in the strike) irresponsible action, and they should account for it.

As a responsible stakeholder, the Ministry of Education has commenced an audit to determine what schools/teachers were compliant with the policies by which they are governed. How could the JTA be so selfish to be opposing the ministry's responsible action in giving back to the real victims (the students) the days that were taken from them?

The JTA has demonstrated that their self-interest comes before the welfare of the students who were casualties in this 'war'.

Public school teachers are subject to regulation. When they are found to be in breach of the regulations and, because of self-interest, cause our students to be at a disadvantage, remedial actions must be taken.

If the JTA had any dignity and conscience then it would have been the first to propose to the Ministry of Education that it would give back those lost days for the benefit of our students.

I hope that an agreement between the Government and the JTA can be reached soon so that they can carry on the business of the country without any further disruptions.

Dujon Russell


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon