Wednesday, 30 August 2017

BACK-TO-SCHOOL BLUES: New JTA president issues stern challenge to Gov’t + Spike in textbook prices burdening J’can parents

HIGH COST OF LEARNING: Every summer, back-to-school textbooks expenditure burns a deep hole in the pockets of struggling parents. And given the significant yearly increases, it’s enough to throw the average Jamaican (single moms especially) into a hair-pulling fit. Even so, it’s a sacrifice that has to be made, says Everton Hannam, President of the National Parent Teachers Association. “Books are important tools for education and, in many cases, teachers do not encourage the sharing of books because it limits your progress,” Hannam observes. “So while we call on parents to make the necessary sacrifice, we look forward to the day when just as how we have generic medicine, we can have books of that kind because the printing of books sometimes comes at a high cost, especially when they are imported.”

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: The nation’s teachers and the Andrew Holness-led administration are heading back to the negotiating table, as the educators have rejected the government’s latest wage offer, according to reports emerging from the Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s 53rd annual conference, being held in Montego Bay. Georgia Waugh Richards has been elected to replace Howard Isaac as JTA president, becoming the 11th woman so elected. She is not mincing words, issuing a stern challenge to the government. “We need teachers to teach and administrators to lead,” Richards told the scores of educators attending the conference. “We therefore call upon the Minister of Education and our government to engage in research as to the real cost of educating one Jamaican child, and we ask that this research finding be a critical part of crafting the national budget.”

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