BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: JTA President welcomes school closure

Owen Speid, President of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association

Owen Speid, president of Jamaica Teacher’s Association (JTA) is welcoming the government’s decision to close schools for 14 days.

“As far as I am concerned if it needs another 14 days after this is expired then we will gladly say to the government go ahead and take all the time you need,” he told BUZZ.

“Many schools are struggling to cope with the water restrictions and to procure the sanitary items needed to protect themselves,” he added.

However, Speid is concerned about the government’s solution to offer online classes during that period. He said this will put a lot of students at a disadvantage.

“There are certain areas in Jamaica that don’t have the capacity for online classes, and as a result of that, some children will be at a disadvantage if this is the method we’re going to use. Some people will be at a severe disadvantage as they don’t have the devices nor the connection,” he said.

“This is not a normal circumstance, this is a crisis situation and we have to learn to adapt change.”

— Speid

He is also concerned about how this will affect the Primary Exist Profile (PEP) exams. But he has a solution. “I would say to them, cancel the performance task aspect of the PEP this year and just use the ability test section that has gone already and use them with the curriculum-based tests,” he said.

“This is not a normal circumstance, this is a crisis situation and we have to learn to adapt change,” he added.