LAST Friday, Jamaica Observer Limited (JOL) awarded teachers from the eastern region of the island for their contribution to the country's educational system.
The teachers, principals and co-ordinators were hosted for a luncheon and awards ceremony in the JOL boardroom.
The attendees were all the top schools per parish, who utilised the JOL's educational products — the Caribbean Secondary Eductaion Certificate (CSEC) Study Guide, which appears on Tuesdays and the new Thursday magazine Learning Corner, which has Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) lessons and exam questions.
For the primary school category, the winners were: Highgate Primary & Junior High from St Mary; Fair Prospect Primary from Portland; Lyssons Primary from St Thomas; Jessie Ripoll Primary from Kingston and St Andrew; Naggo Head Primary from St Catherine; and May Pen Primary from Clarendon.
In the high school category, the winners were: St Mary High from St Mary; Port Antonio High from Portland; Seaforth High from St Thomas; Calabar High Kingston and St Andrew; Dinthill Technical High from St Catherine; and May Pen High from Clarendon.
Another winner wad May Pen Primary for the Most Improved School, but it was Jessie Ripoll Primary and Naggo Head Primary that came away with the top awards.
Andria Givans from Naggo Head Primary was given Teacher of the Year award, while her school was awarded as Islandwide Champions. Jessie Ripoll Primary awarded as runners-up.
Guest speaker at the ceremony, Dr Franklyn Johnston, senior advisor to the Ministry of Education admitted that education is a large business.
"The education enterprise exists to serve businesses... So we have to ensure education quality. We know that the educational system has been underperforming for some time, below teachers and parents expectations. We have got to see how we can move from an underperforming system and your work as teachers is crucial," Dr Johnston said.
"If we are admitting that it (the educational system) is not enough, we need also to admit that this (the products from the Observer) are not supplemental, but fundamental," he told the gathering.