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HomeNewsRegional NewsJamaica Teachers' Association head says several push factors forcing educators overseas

Jamaica Teachers’ Association head says several push factors forcing educators overseas


Jamaica (Jamaica Observer) – Aslew of issues, including poor salaries, lack of appointment, and inadequate resources, according to Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) President Winston Smith, will force more of the nation’s teachers to migrate for better job opportunities.

During an exclusive interview with the Jamaica Observer on Monday, he stressed that there were “several push factors in one melting pot” which have made it difficult to retain educators.

Pointing to poor salaries, he said a teacher with a first degree would get a net pay of $133,788.88 after the four per cent wage increase. For a job in the United States, he said a teacher would earn between US$4,000 and US$6,000 per month.

“Here is the choice now: Stay in Jamaica, hard-working, underpaid, little resources, can’t get the results, being castigated by all stakeholders, and getting US$924 per month, then receive the prospect now of going abroad, working in an environment where you’re earning US$6,000 per month,” he said.

“Think of a teacher in Jamaica looking at returns and investments, what would stop them? They are going to go — smaller class size, air-conditioned classrooms, more resources available, better pay,” he reasoned.

At the same time, Smith said the lack of adequate resources is abysmal in many schools. He argued that a teacher will have proper lesson plans and ensure topics are interesting, but that the environment is not conducive to success.

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