THE EDITOR, Sir:
In another two years, the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) will celebrate its 50th year of existence. However, several events that have unfolded under various leaders have led many of us to become suspicious of its true intentions.
The JTA's presence has been felt but the teachers' union has not gone far enough to meet the growing needs of education and educators in the 21st century.
As the annual conference gets under way, one hopes that the outgoing and incoming presidents will not bore us with their long and tired speeches that amount to nothing.
I recommend to the new leadership that his tenure must be characterised around four areas:
Improving teacher and principal effectiveness to ensure that every classroom has a great teacher and every school has a great leader.
Providing information to families to help them evaluate and improve their children's schools, and to educators, to help them improve their students' learning.
Implementing a transfer system for teachers within each Quality Education Circle.
Improving student learning and achievement in Jamaica's lowest-performing schools by providing intensive support and effective interventions.
I have been associated with the JTA long enough to speak on issues that affect us. The association is noted for blocking education reform, protecting teachers who are unfit for the profession, bargaining away quality, and promoting conflicts of interest.
I now call on the 'powerful' JTA to shed itself of suspicion and become a 'full' partner and leader in reforming the education sector.