Teacher shortages aren’t new to Jamaica’s education system. Our country has experienced decades of teacher shortages resulting from migration, resignations, vacation leave, and many other factors. Nevertheless, the issue became particularly prevalent in the summer of 2022 when principals began sharing their concerns about the potential for a chronic teacher shortage in the 2022/23 academic year.
A principal shared with the One on One team that he had to find replacements for 21 teachers at the beginning of the 2022/23 academic year, with at least eight of those teachers resigning due to migration. Another shared that 20 teachers resigned from his school between May and August of 2022, with seven of them resigning due to migration. That school began the 2022/23 academic year without a modern languages teacher. There was even another school that began the academic year without teachers to fill eight vacancies.
Efforts to fill these teacher shortages often create more issues for students, including:
Existing teachers teaching subjects they don’t know.
The use of pre-trained teachers who can’t impart knowledge in the same way a trained teacher would.
Merging classes which results in teachers having to teach more than 50 students at a time. This leads to students being less focused and the teacher not being able to provide the individual attention these students need.
Instability in the teacher-student relationship. Students become uncertain about what to expect and don’t want to form a bond with a new teacher because they fear that teacher may soon leave.
The teacher shortage is an overwhelming challenge that’s crippling our nation’s education. One on One has been observing the teacher shortage crisis and has begun the groundwork to create a viable solution.
You can read this Loop News feature by clicking here.
Our founder, Ricardo Allen, got the opportunity to explain the teacher shortage solution at the Global Education Teacher (GET) Summit which was held on January 21, 2023. Here’s what he said…
Our teacher shortage solution is only the beginning of the plans we have to revolutionise Jamaica’s education system. We believe in the Ministry of Education and Youth’s mandate that every child can learn and every child must learn. With our solution, no child will be left behind.