JTA welcomes fee waiver for early-childhood practitioners but says annual police records 'onerous'

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JTA welcomes fee waiver for early-childhood practitioners but says annual police records 'onerous'

Thursday, December 06, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) has welcomed Cabinet approval for all practitioners at registered early-childhood institutions to be exempt from paying for police records, medical reports and food handlers' permits.

However, the association said while this has been a matter that it has been lobbying for from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information over a period of time, it is still not satisfied with the annual requirement of police records.

In a statement today, the JTA said it believes that “… the requirement for annual police record is onerous and that every three to five years would be more practical”.

It said it will continue to advocate for “what is good for the improvement of the education sector”.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid, who announced the fee exemption during yesterday's post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, emphasised that the early childhood practitioners will still be required to get annual renewals to be fully complaint with the requisite legislation and to operate within the Early Childhood Commission operational standards.

He said that all three related ministries – Education, Youth and Information; National Security, and Health – will absorb the relevant fees in their budgets as needed, while the ECC will monitor and verify only those approved practitioners to be exempted from payment.

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