600 teachers not returning to classes in September

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Jamaica's education sector will be short 600 teachers when the new school term begins on September 5, according to data from the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA).

The data was gleaned by the JTA from 140 schools across the island, one week before its ongoing 58th annual conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James.

Speaking with The Gleaner Tuesday, La Sonja Harrison, the newly installed President of the JTA, clarified aspects of the survey data which had previously been revealed in her inaugural presidential address on Monday night.

According to the survey, 13 per cent of the teachers who will not return in September are retired, 43 per cent are resigning, and 44 per cent are on approved leave.

“As an association, we have access to our members, so we would have created our form, dispersed the same form, and principals would have responded based on the data in their schools that they know those teachers who have resigned, those who are retiring, and those who are on study leave. The instrument was sent out last week to principals, and the principals responded from across the region, and that is the data that came in and we presented same,” said Harrison.

The Ministry of Education has been downplaying the issue of teacher migration, even while revealing recently that 167 teachers have resigned from the profession since July this year.

The Ministry had previously projected that 1,250 teachers could leave the profession this year, while acknowledging that about five percent of Jamaica's 25,000 teachers leave the nation's education sector annually.

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