The Ministry of Education and Youth says the anxiety that arose at the start of the school year relative to the issue of teacher migration has eased, with a noticeable reduction in the number of advertisements by local schools for educators.
At the same time, Portfolio Minister, Fayval Williams, has announced that a census is to be conducted across schools shortly, to determine the number of teachers now employed within the sector.
The issue of teacher migration dominated headlines for weeks after reports emerged of teachers exiting the classrooms for better opportunities overseas.
The ministry reported that between July and September 1, some 248 teachers resigned, but said the vacancies had been largely filled. Additionally, 964 specialists teachers and retired teachers were deployed to fill any gaps that emerged.
In addressing a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on Wednesday, Williams reported that things have “quieted down” relative to teacher shortages.
“When we started the school year, there was a lot of questions on teacher migration. Just to say, we believe things have quieted down. We have not seen the same level of anxiety as we saw before school began,” she stated.
“Obviously, teacher migration is a global phenomenon… We gave strategies for teacher recruitment, including the concept of locum tenens, in which teachers on long leave can return and be paid for teaching, as well as for their leave,” Williams said.
According to her, “We will know exactly where we are when we do the census taking in October in our schools.
“In the meantime, as a data point, we are seeing fewer advertisements, and we are not hearing that there are large numbers of positions to be filled,” stated the minister.