JAM | May 17, 2023

‘Despite ChatGPT, teachers still matter’, says Education Minister

Candice Stewart

Candice Stewart / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Fayval Williams, minister of Education and Youth delivering her presentation in the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (May 17).

With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), many have shared concerns that their jobs will become obsolete. Among those jobs in question is the teaching profession.

In response to those who may have asked that question, the Minister of Youth and Information, Fayval Williams, said that teachers still matter despite the use of AI.

She was delivering her presentation in the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate today (May 17) in the House of Representatives.

“Madam Speaker, let me be clear. Teacher’s still matter. Despite Chat GPT, teachers still matter. We all agree on this and I believe that if you ask ChatGPT, it will agree also. In fact, I did. I asked it. I said, ‘with the proliferation of artificial intelligence, do teachers matter?’ and in an instance, it said, ‘yes, teachers continue to be essential even with the proliferation of artificial intelligence. While AI can provide a wealth of information and support, it cannot replace the human connection that teachers provide’, she said.

Education Minister Fayval Williams. (Photo: JIS)

Less passive students and applause for national curriculum

“The Jamaica Education Transformation Commission report agrees as well that teachers matter but it calls on our teachers to matter in a different way than we are used to. It calls on teachers to throw out the method of teaching that creates passive students and make a radical shift to a collaborative interaction between teachers, students, and the curriculum or the content and as much as possible, include the supportive role of parents and other caregivers,” she added.

Williams said that the Commission report applauds the National Standard Curriculum that the education sector uses but, “it calls on us to better prepare and train teachers and students to use it and to pay much more attention to social and emotional learning as we roll out our STEM education or our STEAM education which is our science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics education.”

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