St. Ann schools facing teacher shortage ahead of new school year

With weeks to go before the new school year starts in September, one St Ann-based secondary level institution has started recruiting replacement teachers as the education sector braces for another round of teacher migration.


Principal of Browns Town High School, Alfred Thomas said the school administration was already aware of some teachers leaving, so new teachers have already been hired for the job, come next month.


He pointed out that the situation will likely worsen with the expected influx of sudden resignations, almost on the eve of the new school year, as has happened in past years. Mr Thomas explained that at that point finding replacement teachers becomes a challenge.


The issue which is not new affects most schools islandwide and usually impacts arts and technical subjects.


Mr Thomas said over the years, school administrators have had to get creative in finding solutions to the teacher-migration problem.


These include sharing a particular subject teacher among multiple schools.


Another option is to use persons with experience in the field, who are not teachers, following approval by the Ministry.

He noted that it is difficult to drop a particular subject, especially when the upper school students have started their School Based Assessments, and need to complete the four-year programme in that subject.


Mr Thomas added that teachers’ colleges are not necessarily meeting the demand for trained teachers, especially in technical subject areas.

Meanwhile, Principal of the York Castle High School, Raymon Treasure, says his institution has already lost five teachers to migration since July, and more resignations are expected.


Speaking with IRIE FM news, he noted that the migration issues started last year.


Mr Treasure explained that the problem is compounded by a recruitment challenge, which is more acute for certain subjects.


Mr treasure said some of the subjects will have to be dropped from the school’s curricula if teachers are not found.


He noted that collaboration between schools is another possible solution.







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