The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) is calling on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to appoint an Education Minister.
Newly installed president of the Association, Owen Speid said it is “high time” that a Minister is appointed to make policy and deal with the many issues facing the sector.
“It is high time the Prime Minister intervenes and names a full minister.” Speid was delivering his maiden address as president, at the 55th annual general meeting of the JTA, at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort, St James, Monday night, August 19.
Acting Minister Karl Samuda was at the head table among JTA administrative officials and other dignitaries when Speid made the call to loud applause from the delegates. Following the removal of Ruel Reid from the Ministry in March, Mr. Samuda, Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth, was named interim minister and has been acting since then as the portfolio Minister of the Ministry of Education Youth and Information.
The political opposition has repeatedly called for a minister to be named.
“We need to be afforded more respect in this regard,” Speid said. He argued that the situation would not be allowed in another Ministry. He said, “We need to cut out some of the actings in the Ministry” and pointed out that the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Grace McLean is acting as is the Chief Education Officer.
He said a full minister would be able to outline”strategies for education” and consider a policy for the Ministry.