Two hundred and six teachers from across the island, who have given a minimum of 35 years of service to education, have been bestowed with the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Golden Torch Award.
Speaking at the awards ceremony held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (July 11), Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, lauded teachers for their commitment to education, noting that they are a critical pillar of development in the society.
“Thanks to all our teachers who go beyond the call of duty to ensure that our students are well prepared for various levels of school assessment. Today, we celebrate the teachers who have made a lasting difference in the lives of their students. You have not only imparted knowledge but have nurtured the talent and potential of our students, instilling in them the values of perseverance, respect and empathy,” she said.
The Minister also commended teachers for embracing innovation and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of education.
She noted that teachers have engaged with technology and continue to use creative methods to ensure that every student receives the best possible education.
“All the work you did during the COVID years, we cannot forget that. You kept the education system going. For your sacrifice of long hours, investing your time and often your own resources and acting as mentors, role models [and] sources of inspiration, you deserve the utmost respect and gratitude,” she said.
In her remarks, JTA President La Sonja Harrison, highlighted that the teachers are deserving of the recognition.
“You who have chosen to walk the steps of the master teacher do know your seeds of influence have and will affect eternity. Yours is a service that is irreplaceable,” Mrs. Harrison said.
The Golden Torch Award for service to education was instituted by the JTA in 1991 and the first awards were presented in 1993.
Former JTA President, Ray Howell, under whose tenure the award was established was presented with a special award at Tuesday’s ceremony.
Now in its 30th year, more than 7,000 educators have received the honour.