JTA President says Jamaica has lost 10% of its teachers to migration

President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), Leighton Johnson, says Jamaica has lost about 10% of its teachers to migration in the last two years.

He explains that this is based on the figures provided by the education ministry.

Mr. Johnson states that teacher migration is not new to Jamaica as in the 1980s, many teachers left for overseas and others who left the classroom went into other fields including insurance.

He notes that in this wave of the migration, teachers are going overseas and are continuing in teaching.

The JTA president states that the situation is expected to become more chronic in the next three years, if not addressed.

The JTA president says the push factors for Jamaican teachers are inability to comfortably take care of their families, inability to build or buy a home and low wages.

Mr. Johnson points to figures from education international which indicate there is a shortfall of 54 million teachers across the world.

He noted further that the United States indicated last year, that in the last year and a half 51,000 teachers have resigned, citing among other reasons low wages, less stressful environment, and security reasons for their decision.

The data indicate that in the next year and a half the US will need 300,000 teachers.

Mr. Johnson says Jamaica is being targeted by recruiters.

He was speaking at a meeting of the Rotary Club of New Kingston this morning (September 8).


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