Letters to the Editor

Take a page out of Montague's book, Minister Reid

Thursday, September 14, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I write in response to the article 'It's Unfair' on the Jamaica Observer's front page of September 7, 2017. Since then, the Minister of National Security Robert “Bobby” Montague has received public lashing from not just the Opposition, but from other members of the public, depending on which side of the fence they are sitting on.

It is my strong belief, though, that at this time we should have moved pass the notion that the message was delivered the wrong way and be focusing on the message itself.

I must commend the minister for pointing out an age-old problem that has been swept under the carpet, not only in the police force, but also in the teaching profession as well.

Therefore, I challenge the Minister of Education Senator Ruel Reid to be as brave as his colleague and speak out for hard-working, dedicated teachers who are suffering the same fate. How can a system be so negatively skewed that after 40 years of giving your all to the nation's children, sometimes at the cost of your own child/children, you retire as a classroom teacher — the same title you had when you entered? Yet some teachers who barely scratch the surface will see promotions to senior teacher, principal, education officer at breakneck speed.

This noble profession has become so nepotistic that I have seen and heard of instances where people who barely make a difference in the life of a child, but can carry tall tales to administration or the Ministry of Education, are the preferred choice for promotions. I have known of teachers who have friends in high places who are bumped up to senior teacher three in one shot, or are principals-in-waiting. This happens while hard-working, dedicated teachers, though qualified and deserving, are overlooked, especially if they refuse to be a part of wrongdoing and stand up for what they believe is not just right, but godly.

Minister Reid, I implore you to take a page out of your colleague's book. He stood up for his officers who cannot stand for themselves. He might be getting licks, but the important thing is that he stood. He has initiated the process. Will you be brave enough to make the same call, perhaps in a different way? It is imperative that you — do, because if you do not, our education system will continue to haemorrhage. The sad reality is that our precious little ones — the future — and this great country, with the potential to be better than what it is right now, will hurt the most.

Concerned educator

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