News

Evans: 15% salary subsidy an insult to Early Childhood teachers

BY RENAE DIXON Sunday Observer staff reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 18, 2014    

Print this page Email A Friend!


VICE-PRESIDENT of the Jamaica Early Childhood Association (JECA) Devon Evans has described the announced 15 per cent increase in salary subsidy to basic school teachers across the island as an insult to teachers.

Responding to the announcement made by Education Minister Ronald Thwaites during his presentation in the sectoral debate on Wednesday, May 7, Evans said that the increase represents the "scant regard for basic school teachers".

"How long will the ministry continue to treat our teachers like underdogs while giving full recognition to those in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions?" he asked.

He told the Jamaica Observer that since 2007, basic school teachers have been pleading to the ministry for an increase in their subsidies, and that after waiting for seven years, they "have been handed a paltry increase of 15 per cent".

The salary subsidy is a monthly allowance given to basic school teachers in recognised basic schools, who have attained a certain qualifying standard. According to Evans it ranges from a low of $14,000 to a high of $25, 000 before tax deductions.

Evans, who is also chairman of the St Ann Early Childhood Parish Board, pointed out that "at most basic schools, the subsidy is the only income that teachers take home monthly, because the economic hardships are making it difficult for parents to pay school fees."

He said that the work of these teachers is equally or more important than other teachers in the education sector. Evans said that while the minister has repeatedly enunciated the important values of early childhood education, he is yet to demonstrate this in terms of budgetary allowance to the sector.

"The provision of quality early childhood education is a commitment the Government of Jamaica has made to its citizens, but its actions over the years serves only to create a disparity which favours only a few while the vast majority have been left almost abandoned," Evans stated.

Evans noted that since 2006, the Ministry of Education has been encouraging basic school teachers to upgrade themselves and that after spending thousands of dollars to acquire tertiary education, these teachers have not seen any improvement in their pay.

He said that while the minister was honest enough to admit that the subsidy is very low, "he needs to take into consideration that these people have been waiting for too long to get their just reward."

The JECA vice-president said he was hoping to see at least a 50 per cent increase to reflect inflation over the last seven years and to demonstrate the high regard that the minister claims to have for the early childhood sector.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

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
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Should the next Police Commissioner be recruited from overseas?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT