Wed | Jan 19, 2022

Letter of the Day | Teachers are stressed and in dire need of help

Published:Friday | November 26, 2021 | 8:26 AM


I am a teacher, and since the closure of schools, I have had to purchase credit for $2,500 per month to teach my students.

Thanks to my own children who assisted me in paying for the monthly top up of data plan, I am able to get by. This is very hard on me as I have a family that is dependent on me and a home to run.

I am writing on behalf of my colleagues as well. Everyone is feeling the pinch, but we are committed to doing our best. We are busy teaching our students, while we have to pay others to teach ours.

What is worse, if our credit runs out for half a day our dear education minister immediately declares that the children are not learning. She seems to be oblivious to the fact that we sometimes just cannot afford to remain online for extended periods, as our credit and data run out.

Teachers are not afforded the benefits of programmes like PATH or other help channels. Whenever we apply as teachers to these programmes, we are told that we are not eligible. We may not be eligible by bookish standards, but our standard of living is below the poverty line and falling further.

Many people don’t know that teachers are among the poorest of government workers in Jamaica.

Based on the realities here in Jamaica, I support the many teachers who are going to greener pastures overseas to seek a better life for themselves and their families.

I got several chances to migrate, but I didn’t take them as I prefer to stay ‘a yaad’, but those who want it should go for it and let the lawmakers go in the classroom to teach.

I am writing to say please add up our monies and give it back to us. We need to be paid, just like Ruel Reid. He is paid for staying at home and he has not taught a single student online, yet he is being paid millions.

What have the hard-working teachers, who are building the future of this country, done to be treated so badly? Most of us teachers just have a phone, no computer or tablet to teach with, and we are stretched beyond our means. We are humans, too, and we have families to take care of. How can we give quality education under this level of stress and deprivation?