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BOARD Chairman of Green Pond High School in St James Stephen Shaw has called on the Ministry of Education and the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) to help stamp out the practice of some teachers to operate flea markets at school.
Speaking at the weekly Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange of reporters and editors at the newspaper's Beechwood Avenue offices in St Andrew, Shaw said the situation, which was more prevalent at the primary school level, needed to be addressed if a certain mould of students is to be produced.
"I know, for example, in some of these schools the teachers are focusing more on their tuck shops because they use the classrooms as their own little market to sell to the kids rather than educate them. This is something the ministry and the JTA need to deal with," Shaw maintained.
"We know it is happening, particularly at the primary schools. At my school one of the things I said from day one: We are not operating a flea market here. So when teachers would come and they would have their little cars and at lunch time or some hour between, they open the trunk and they are selling brassieres and panties and underslips, I said we are not going to go that route," he said.
Shaw said Green Pond, which is one of the fortunate six included in the Centres of Excellence programme managed by the Mutual Building Societies Foundation — a collaboration between financial institutions Jamaica National and Victoria Mutual -- has, in the meantime, grappled with changing the culture of students who matriculate to high schools.
According to Shaw, this would be more daunting if the culture of the feeder schools remains unchanged.
"I don't have any empirical data but I submit that the ministry will have to look at some of the junior high and primary schools and look at management of these institutions because some of the difficulties my board is experiencing comes from those levels," Shaw said.
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