Teachers should not fear pending licensing regime — Reid

Thursday, April 19, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid, is assuring teachers that the pending licensing and registration regime for the profession will serve to enhance their capacities and should not be feared.

“I don't want people to be afraid of (registration and licensing). I think it will be good for the system,” he said.

The minister was delivering the 10th public lecture of the Institute for Educational Administration and Leadership –Jamaica (IEAL-J) at the Papine campus of the University of Technology (UTech) today.

He pointed out that there are individuals in the early-childhood sector who say they are teachers, yet are not trained or certified, noting that this is one of the areas the regime would seek to address.

“It will mean, therefore, in the licensing regime, that people are trained, certified and serving appropriately, based on their qualifications. So, you don't have people who are early-childhood specialists teaching grade nine and subjects that they are not actually qualified to do,” he said.

This will be facilitated under the pending Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) Bill, which seeks to provide for the establishment of a governing body for the teaching profession and institute a regime for licensing and registering of all government-paid teachers.

Reid informed that much work has been done on the JTC Bill, which is to undergo a final review this week “to make sure the last draft is consistent with what we have agreed to”.

Following this, the minister said the legislation will then be taken to Cabinet, “and I hope to have it tabled in Parliament in short order”.

“It will be my first major piece of legislation, and I think it will further position the education system on a path for sustainable growth and development,” he said.

In the meantime, he praised the IEAL-J for staging the lecture, which has served to keep leadership in education at the centre of public discourse.

“We need more of these stakeholder sessions to discuss varied ideas and pathways to improving our education system as we continue to fashion more inclusive solutions to our long-standing economic, social and political issues, and move faster towards the building of a knowledge economy,” he said.

Reid further congratulated Professor Paul Miller of the University of Huddersfield and President, IEAL-J, on the launch of his book, which took place prior to the lecture.

The book, titled 'The Nature of School Leadership: Global Practice Perspectives', looks at the different issues faced by school leaders and the approach to school leadership adopted by school leaders in 16 countries.

The lecture was staged in collaboration with UTech and the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

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