THE EDITOR, Sir
On Friday, August 17, 2012, the two major local newspapers reported as their front-page story some very shocking comments made by Education Minister Ronald Thwaites about teachers of mathematics.
If 84 per cent of mathematics teachers are incompetent or unqualified, the Ministry of Education has a lot of work to do and must adopt a unitary approach where industrial relations is grounded in mutual cooperation, teamwork and sharing of common objectives. There should be no 'them' and 'us'.
Instead of blaming the teachers for the lacklustre performance by students in the subject, a more desirable approach would be to acknowledge the problem, ventilate the issues on a mutual platform and aim for workable solutions.
Additionally, one must examine the numerous parameters such as the socio-economic environment in which our schools operate and which are likely to have significant impact on the end results.
There is no problem without a solution, and so I have no doubt that the relevant ministries will introduce orderly processes/ interventions to address the matter.
As I pen this letter, I believe 100 per cent of mathematics teachers in Jamaica are hurting because they must, of necessity, contemplate where on the scale of competence they rank.
As a nation, we tend to name, shame and blame each other to the extent that the practice becomes almost part of the societal norms. Most teachers are hard-working, have the interest of their students at heart and give of their best despite the meagre resources.
The country needs to see a respectful partnership between the various stakeholders. No more 'cass-cass', please. Our children are watching and listening.
PAMELA V. LOWE