The Ministry of Education and Youth will be establishing a job portal, which will advertise available employment opportunities within the education sector.
Portfolio minister Fayval Williams, in responding to questions posed by Member of Parliament for St Andrew Western Anthony Hylton, about the loss of experienced teachers within the sector, did not give a time when the portal will be up and running.
However, she indicated that it will be done in short order.
According to the minister, the portal “will allow our principals, our boards, to put requests on the job board and for all persons who are interested in the sector, including internationally, to be able to see the vacancies that are available in our system.”
She was being quizzed by Parliament’s Standing Finance Committee, which was examining the 2023/2024 expenditure programme of her ministry on Wednesday (March 1). Minister Williams advised that all the strategies that were employed at the beginning of the school year, to help principals and school boards recruit and retain teachers, are still available to them.
She reminded the parliament that in the not-too-distant past, the ministry offered school principals the option to bring back retired teachers, who were no more than two years out while extending the time for those who wanted to continue.
“We still have the option where, if a teacher is on long leave, they can come back as well. So, they would… get paid for their vacation as well as get paid for working. So, we have a lot of options available and they’re still there to help,” explained the minister.
For the 2023/2024 fiscal year, the government has allocated J$143.6 billion for the ministry with J$3.8 billion set aside for the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA). Some $1 billion has been allocated for textbooks and a similar amount to support the provision of breakfast and cooked lunch for Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) beneficiaries in pre-primary, primary and secondary schools.
“So, we will be able to increase the daily lunch rate from the average $120 to range between $150 to $250, depending on if you are at an infant school versus the secondary school,” Williams disclosed.