KINGSTON, Jamaica – Cuba is offering to supply teachers to Jamaica as the country’s education system is being rocked with resignations.
Over 1,000 teachers have left the system this semester, in the quest for more lucrative jobs in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
Cuba’s Ambassador to Jamaica Fermin Quinones Sanchez told a newspaper here that his country stands ready to assist if or when the government asks for the support.
“There is no limitation from Cuba’s side about any request that would be made by the Jamaican Government and the Ministry of Education to continue supporting the education sector,” the diplomat said.
There are over 100 Cuban teachers in the Jamaica school system most of whom teach Spanish, but the Diplomat said his country can offer teachers in the sciences as well as in dealing with children with special needs.
“We mentioned some time ago to the Jamaican government of the possibility to expand the cooperation of the bilateral agreement to tackle some special needs of children with certain disabilities that need some kind of support,” the ambassador said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer Newspaper.
He added that “Cuba has been developing special needs skills over many, many years, and now we have teachers who are well prepared to work with children with special needs.
“Cuba is ready to participate in such a program if it is the request, of course, by the Jamaican government,” Ambassador Sanchez said.
Education Minister Fayval Williams was quoted in a ministry statement last week, as saying that sudden resignation of scores of teachers and the employment of new teachers at short notice, the ministry had to “implement new mechanisms to ensure that new teachers are paid in the month of September.
“Under normal circumstances, for a teacher to be paid in a particular month, the employment documents must be submitted by the last working day of the previous month. For example, to be paid in September, all relevant employment documents must be submitted to the ministry by the last working day in the month of August.
“However, given that many of the new teachers were employed this month [September], the ministry extended the deadline for submission to September 12 and deployed the accounting staff to work overtime and on weekends to process the submissions.
The statement from the education ministry said 1,155 teachers had joined the sector in time for the new school year.