Unemployed teachers must reinvent themselves
Thwaites was speaking on the second day of the ministry’s job fair, which saw close to 1,000 unemployed teachers flocking the Heroes’ Circle offices of the ministry.
He said the days of teachers walking out of university and straight into jobs were over, and that teachers would have to find new and innovative ways to earn from the skills they were taught in training.
“Teaching has to become a small business; it is unfamiliar territory, but it is not beyond us,” he told the teachers.
Thwaites pointed to a group of unemployed teachers in central Jamaica who, realising that students in that cluster were performing poorly in the sciences, secured a loan and built a mini-science laboratory at the back of a church hall, from which they began offering science courses to students. The move has paid off as students are now flocking to the laboratory, Thwaites said.
“That is how those educators are earning their keep. This is the kind of inventiveness that we require,” he said.
Thwaites also pleaded with teachers to focus their training in areas where schools have genuine openings, citing as a bad example a Corporate Area school that has “94 or so members of staff and 22 of them have their specialities in guidance counselling and only four in mathematics”.
The ministry had organised the job fair to assist prospective teachers to reinvent themselves in the new global educational environment, prepare for job interviews, and offer resume-writing tips.
But the job fair was not all roses for some participants who were less than impressed with the organisation, particularly on the first day. (Observer)