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Teacher resignations climb to 248, says Williams, but… 

Education and Youth Minister Fayval Williams says 248 teachers have resigned from the public school system between July and September 1 of this year.

This is an increase of 81 educators when compared to the 137 teachers who resigned over the period July to August 22.

However, Williams said despite the resignations, “schools will be in a good position to open” on September 5.

“Will everyone have all the teachers they desire on Monday morning, given that some teachers would have only resigned a week ago or today even? No,” she admitted.

“Our schools are actively recruiting, (and) we have given them different strategies as to how to recruit,” Williams stated.

She provided the information at a back-to-school press conference called by the ministry on Thursday afternoon to update the nation on the preparatory steps that have been taken to ensure a smooth opening of the new 2022-2023 school year.

The minister advised that many of the 248 vacancies have since been filled, though she admitted that she was unable to provide the exact number of the posts that have been filled, as the Education Ministry is still in the process of arriving at a final figure.

“I want to add that many of those vacancies would have already been filled,” she stated.

She cited data that in Region Two, which comprises of St Thomas, Portland and St Mary, 80 per cent of the schools reported that they have replaced teachers who have resigned.

“Two examples coming out of Region Two – Boundbrook Primary and Port Antonio Primary, which are two very large primary schools – have fully replaced their teachers who have resigned,” Williams stated.

She said one Corporate Area high school “headlined” in the media for losing 16 teachers to resignations, has since replaced all except one of the departed teachers.

Late last month, Loop News spoke to Principal of Campion College, Grace Baston, who indicated that the institution had been hit by the resignations of 16 teachers ahead of the new school year.

Of the 16 resignations, nine teachers went overseas.

Baston shared that the school had since filed all the vacancies except for a lab technician.

Meanwhile, Williams, on Thursday, said that in Region Four, which comprises St James, Hanover and Westmoreland, 75 per cent of vacancies have been replaced and interviews are ongoing.

“We would have given to our principals a number of different strategies to use for recruiting teachers. We put out 15 different strategies, and just recently, we added to that the approval we got from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, of the teachers who are on their long leave… if they are so willing, to come back and be their own replacements,” she informed.

The minister also reminded that 964 specialists teachers are available for employment by schools, as well as persons with first degrees in relevant subject areas without teaching degrees.

The Education Ministry is also in the process of developing a platform to allow those who are seeking teaching jobs to upload their resumes. This, according to Williams, is geared towards ensuring that schools have an idea of the educators who are available for employment in schools.

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