Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs that are posed by our stakeholders. Registration Can I register my child in a school without his Birth Certificate? Parents who do not have their children’s birth certificates should:
  • Contact the Registrar General’s Department
  • Present the receipt you received upon application and payment for the Birth Certificate to the Prinicipal or the designated school administrator, who will  facilitate    registration until the birth certificate is provided.
  What are the documents required to register my child as a new student in a school? Students, who will be entering Infant and Primary schools for the first time, should be registered in May. Those entering Secondary level institutions should complete the registration process by JULY. The documents required for registration are:   Infant Schools
  • A completed Registration Form (Form issued at the school)
  • Student’s Birth Certificate
  • Up-to-Date Immunization Card
  • Passport sized photograph/s
  Primary Schools
  • A completed Registration Form (Form issued at the school)
  • Student’s Birth Certificate
  • Up-to-Date Immunization Card
  • Last school report (if the child is transferring from another school)
  • Passport sized photograph/s
  Secondary Schools
  • A Completed Registration Form (Form issued at the school)
  • Student’s Birth Certificate
  • Up-to-Date Immunization Card
  • Last school report (if the child is transferring from another school)
  • Passport sized photograph/s
  1. NB. Some schools require a medical report, especially if the child suffers from a non-communicable disease.
  Can my child be turned away from school because he is not fully immunized? Every child should be immunized as this prevents him/her from acquiring diseases or infecting other children with diseases. Under the Public Health Act, 1974 and the Immunization Regulations, 1986, all children under the age of seven must be immunized before entry to school. These include Day Care, Nursery and other Early Childhood and Primary schools.  The Act also stipulates that persons authorized to admit children to any school, should not admit any child without his immunization certificate or card. If the child is already admitted, he should not be permitted to continue, unless his parents produce the document. Parents who fail to comply with the laws are guilty of an offence and can be charged a fine or imprisoned. If your child is not fully immunized please visit the nearest public health clinic or your private doctor to have him/her vaccinated.   What can I do to protect my child when he/she leaves the school compound for home? Every child should be taught safety and security measures. This will ensure that children are aware, alert and assertive. Make sure your home is a safe place and your child is aware of how he/she can protect him/herself. Here are a few tips to help you:
  • Make sure that your child knows his/her name, your name, address, and contact numbers
  • Instruct the child to go straight home after school and not to go off with friends
  • Be careful when you put your child’s name on his/her clothing, school bag, or lunch boxes. Write it in such a way that it is not too visible to predators. If possible, place them on the inside of these items
  • Walk or travel the route to and from school with your child, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they are being followed or need help. Show him/her the acceptable routes and transportation/bus routes to school.
  • Encourage him/her to use main roads and avoid shortcuts or isolated areas. If your child takes a bus, visit the bus stop with him/her and make sure he/she knows which bus to take
  • Encourage the children to avoid loitering at bus stops/parks, taxi stands and shopping malls after school. They should go straight home
  • Make sure that the drivers contracted to take your child home are trustworthy persons. If possible have one designated driver, apart from you or your spouse.
  • Encourage your child not to take rides from strangers.
  • Create a code word that only you, your child and a trusted relative or friend knows. Teach your child to ask for the code word when approached by someone offering them a ride, or to accompany them home
  • Make sure that your child has a trusted adult he/she can call should an emergency arise
  • Teach your child that if an adult approaches him/her for directions they should be very cautious as it may be a trick to lure him/her into danger
  • Teach your child defensive techniques to protect him/herself if he/she feels his life is threatened. Tell him/her to scream, run away and tell a trusted adult or call you
  • Tell your child that no one should touch him/her on any part of his/her body that makes him feel uncomfortable
  • Pay close attention when your child tells you that he was “inappropriately touched”. Do not shun him. Investigate it thoroughly and quickly; if it is true, report the matter to the police or the relevant authorities immediately
  My young child is attending school for the first time. What are some the things I can do to build a relationship with the school? Thank you for your interest in contributing to school-home partnerships. Parents are key partners in education and can contribute a lot to the school’s development. Here are some tips to help you:
  • Make sure that you read the school’s handbook and website (if there is one) so that you are familiar with the schools programmes and policies
  • Make sure that you are aware of the Early Childhood Act (2005) and the Regulations (2005)
  • You should also know the twelve standards in the Handbook of ECC “Start them Right”
  • Provide information about your child in a timely manner. For example, inform the school about illnesses that your child may have
  • Read notes sent home from the school
  • Make sure that your child does activities requested by the teacher
  • Attend Parent-teachers’ meetings and other school activities
  • Try to honour requests made by the school
  • Ask if there are ways you can help in supporting the teacher’s work and the school’s programme
  • Contribute to the school
  • Develop a relationship with your child’s teacher and other parents of children who attend the school
  • Encourage your child to obey the school rules
  My son is a student at an evening institute and has paid his fees for the entire year. However, the class was without a teacher for nearly two months. I asked the manager to refund me his tuition however, he has refused. What should I do?  Under the Fair Competition Act, all private educational institutions are required to have a clear refund policy. Always investigate  a school before you register as a student with them. Please contact the Independent Schools Section of the Ministry at 612-5706 to find out if your school is registered. If you are still not satisfied, you can exercise the option to initiate legal action against the manager.   School Placement My daughter received excellent scores in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), however, she was placed in a non-traditional High School. How do I get a transfer to the high school she selected as her first choice? The Primary Exit Profile (PEP) is the assessment instrument the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information uses to place students in public high schools. It is a part of the National Standards Curriculum which assesses students’ performance throughout the Primary level. Placement in High schools is based on students’ performance on PEP and the availability of space in the school. Students who gain the highest marks will be placed in their ‘first choice’ of schools. Indeed, your daughter may have received high grades, but other students may have scored higher than she did, and so were placed in the school, or schools, she desired to attend. We are aware that parents want the ‘best’ schools for their children, but we believe that there is no ‘best’ or ‘better’ schools. All secondary schools utilize the same curricula and textbooks, which are provided under the National Textbook Loan Scheme. Your child can succeed at any school if you get involved in her education, provide her with the support and resources to make her learn. The Ministry of Education, Youth & Information does not grant transfers based on your specific circumstances. If you wish your child to attend a particular school, please visit that school and ask if the child can be accommodated there. If you are not success please contact the Ministry of Education’s Regional Office nearest you.   My son has sat the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Tests three times and still has not achieved mastery. Will he be given the opportunity to sit the PEP? We are sorry to hear that your son has not achieved mastery in the Grade Four Tests. Under the Ministry of Education’s new policy, students who have not achieved mastery in the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Tests will not be eligible to sit the PEP. It is recommended that you have your son assessed to determine what is hindering his performance at the Grade Four level. The assessor will guide you on how you can help your son to achieve academically. Do not be despondent. Continue to encourage, love and support your son. For more information on please call the Special Education Unit at 967-2312.   School Discipline My child was sent home from school because the teacher said that her skirt was too short. Is this allowed to happen? The Ministry of Education, Youth & Information encourages schools, Boards and parents to resolve issues in an amicable manner which does not severely affect the child’s education and emotional being. The Education Act 1980, Section 29 clearly states that a child must obey the rules of the institution he/she is attending. This includes the dress code of the school. The Act also states that only the principal of a public educational institution may suspend a student for a period not exceeding 10 days. You should have been contacted by the school to discuss your child’s misdemeanor which has resulted in this action. Once the child is on the school compound he/she is in the care and protection of the school and should not be sent home without his/her parent or guardian or a trusted adult accompanying him/her, especially if he/she is very young. A formal letter outlining the decision of the school should also be given to the parent or guardian. If you are still dissatisfied with the school’s decision, you should speak to the principal or Board Chairman of the school or PTA representative about your concerns. If you are not satisfied with their response you may contact the Regional Office in which the school is located to discuss the matter.   My son was expelled from his High School, however, I would like him to be given the opportunity to go back to school. How do I get this done? The Ministry of Education, Youth & Information encourages schools, Boards and parents to resolve issues in an amicable manner which does not severely affect the child’s education and emotional being. The Education Act 1980 clearly states that a child must obey the rules of the institution he/she is attending and a student may be permanently expelled from school for disciplinary reasons. However, every child can be redeemed and every child deserves a second chance. If your son is still within the school age, the Ministry is still responsible for his education. In the interim, find alternative arrangements for your child, or visit the Ministry’s Regional Office in which your child’s school is located for advice. You may also appeal to the Honourable Minister for a review to examine whether or not the expulsion was justified, or the correct procedures were followed.   Financial Assistance How can I get assistance to help me with my child’s schooling? The Ministry of Education is aware that many parents are having challenges sending their children to school. We value students and have provided various programmes to help parents and students. These include: School Feeding Programme, National Textbook Loan Scheme, Scholarships, and Examination Assistance. In addition, our partners in the public sector have other programmes to help you. These include the National Health Fund, Programme for the Advancement of Health and Education (PATH) and a Students’ Loan Scheme. If you are still having challenges, please speak to the principal of the school your child attends or the community representative for the area.   Teaching and Learning I have written a book recently and would like it to be included on the Ministry of Education’s Approved Textbook list. Congratulations on the completion of your book. The Ministry of Education is always looking for new educational materials, especially books, for our schools. Please note that we are not evaluating readers (picture books, novels, storybooks or novels) at this time. Books and other educational materials must be evaluated and approved before they are included on the Approved Primary and Secondary Textbook Lists. Make sure that your book is written specifically for the curricula of Primary or Secondary Schools. Please visit our web-page at and learn more about the textbook review process and guidelines for submitting books.   My daughter has lost one of the textbooks lent to her by the school she is attending. The Principal of the school has indicated that she should pay for the book, or else she will not graduate. What should I do? We are sorry to hear that your daughter has lost one of the books supplied to public schools for loan to students, under the National Textbook Loan Scheme. Every year the Ministry of Education spends millions of dollars to repair and replace books that are misplaced or defaced by students. Please encourage your daughter to be careful next time. The National Textbook Loan Scheme is a revolving loan scheme and misplaced books must be replaced, for other students to access them in the upcoming school term. The books are the property of the Ministry of Education. Please contact the Media Services Unit at 924-9128 if you cannot access the books in the bookstores, or if you want guidance on what to do.   My ten year old daughter has informed me that she is using an Integrated Curriculum. What is an Integrated Curriculum? Does it emphasize the teaching of grammar? The Integrated Curriculum involves the combination of different subjects into a lesson. Through integration, children can see the interrelation and inter-dependence between subjects. Integration also makes the lessons more meaningful and reinforces concepts and content taught. Integration is used both at the Primary and Secondary levels. At the Primary level, grammar forms part of the Language Arts programme. It falls into two time-table slots. It is taught as a part of the integrated content and also presented separately in the Language Arts Window (LAW).   I would like to home school my child. What is the Ministry of Education’s policy regarding this? The Ministry of Education does not currently have a policy regarding home-schooling. We are however developing an Independent Schools’ Policy which will address home schooling. Please make sure that you are fully equipped with the necessary resources, skills and dedication to home-school your child. These include a clear understanding of the curriculum, the educational materials, including books, for instruction; the teaching strategies and other administrative requirements necessary to engage your child to learn. Remember to provide opportunities for your child to interact with other children for his/her social, emotional and psychological growth. For further information, please contact the Independent Schools Unit.   At what age should I start talking to my young child about sex? Teaching children about their sexuality should begin from as early as possible. Sex education is a continuous process. It should continue throughout the different stages of the child’s life. By the time the child is ready for school he/she should know the:
  • Proper names of his/her body parts
  • Functions of the different body parts
  • Physical differences between boys and girls
  • How to tell if someone touches him/her inappropriately
  • What to do if someone touches him/her inappropriately
  Health and Family Life How can I protect my child from sex abuse? Make sure that your home is free of persons who are child molesters and abusers. This is necessary as research has shown that children are usually abused by adults, or older children who they know and trust. Many of these persons reside in the home or community. Teach children about their body parts from as early as possible, and make them understand that some parts of their bodies are more private than others, and nobody should play, or touch them inappropriately on those parts. Teach them to be assertive and report any one who touches them inappropriately, to you, or their teacher. Make sure that you are selective of the television programmes your children watch. Try to limit television watching and make sure that the programmes watched are educational, appropriate for children and non-violent.   I will be leaving for another country, as I will be getting a better job and want a better life for my children. However, when I told my son he became very distraught and has threatened to kill himself. What should I do? Suicidal threats must not be treated lightly. It is best if you reconsider your decision. Speak to the Guidance Counsellor of the school your son attends immediately, or contact the Guidance Education Officer in the Ministry of Education’s Regional Office nearest you, or the Child Guidance clinic located in every hospital islandwide. I am pleased that you want to make a ‘better life’ for your children, but please note that parents’ perception of a ‘better life’ differs from children. Most children prefer to have their parents physically present with them, as this provides the love, security, joy and comfort they desire. These are far more important to a child, than material possessions. Please involve children in decisions, such as these, which impact the family, especially them. Suicidal children need to be reminded, at all times, that they are loved, and that life is precious, and should be enjoyed and valued. They should never be left alone, and have access to weapons. Look out for signs that may lead to suicide. These include:
  • Psychological disorder especially depression, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and drug abuse. In many cases, the family often has a history of these disorders, or a family member had committed suicide
  • Feelings of distress, hopelessness, worthlessness, irritability, or agitation
  • Previous physical emotional or sexual abuse encounter
  • Poor relationships with parents or peers, and feelings of social isolation
  • Issues with sexuality, especially homosexuality in an unsupportive family or community or hostile school environment
  Starting Your Teaching Career How can I find a teaching job in Jamaica’s public schools? Thank you for your interest to teach in Jamaica’s public school system. Please visit our web-page TeachJamaica for more information.   What are some of the things I should do before I start teaching at a new school? Teaching at a new school can be intimidating, especially if you are are new to the teaching profession. Principals should ensure that a new teacher is properly oriented before he/she commences teaching. Here are a few tips to help you:
  • Make sure that you know exactly where the school is located. Try to visit the school and examine your classroom before the first day of school. Decide on what educational materials and other resources you are going to need to assist you in the teaching learning process.
  • Try to meet some of the other teachers on staff and ask them more about the school, school community, parents and students
  • Arrange the desks or chairs to suit your teaching style a week before the first day of school
  • Learn the school rules, policy and the Education Act and Code of Regulations.
  • Act confidently, professionally and diplomatically always
  What should I do on the first day? The first day is very important. First impressions last and so you should make sure that your first day is impressive.
  • Arrive early at school.
  • Act confidently and assertively
  • Dress professionally
  • Place your name boldly on the chalk or white board so that your students can see it and remember it
  • Greet the children and parents as they arrive in the classroom.
  • Ask the students to sit. Conduct a get-acquainted-with-each-other exercise
  • Establish classroom rules with students. These include when assignments are due, how students should respond to questions when asked, and the acceptable behaviour in class.
  • Set boundaries for parents. Arrange a meeting with them to speak about what is expected. Do not engage in long conversations with them on the first day of school. This should be done at a separate parent-teacher meeting.
  • Make sure that parents sign a log with their name, email, telephone number and child’s name.
  • Begin simple academic activities
  • Make sure that parents and older students know the topics you are going to cover each term. If possible, you can issue a course outline.
  • Deal promptly with behaviour problems
  • Discuss the care of educational materials, especially books.
  Tips for the first month
  • Post classroom rules
  • Be assertive, firm, objective and consistent when enforcing rules
  • Remind your students about the consequences of breaking the rules
  • Make sure that you are always punctual and prepared for classes. Always have a lesson plan, educational materials and activities on hand
  • Bond with teachers in your school so that you can get ideas on the school and community culture
  • Reinforce and commend good behaviour
  • Hold students accountable for their work and behaviour
  • Develop and use a standard format for presenting assignments
  • Use standard and common proofreading marks
  • Do not leave your classroom unattended
  • Make sure parents are clear about your objectives and rules
  • Make sure that students who are not performing at their age and grade level are given special assistance
  • Host a parent-teacher meeting with parents of students in your class, to discuss any concerns you have.
  • Get to know more about your students life outside of school. This can help you to understand how they perceive education and respond to school.
  • Assign key tasks for students. For example, a student can be assigned as a class monitor, secretary, plant manager (erases board, helps with organizing the class), journalist/reporter (post information on the notice boards) etc. They should take turns to perform tasks.
  What is a provisional appointment? In keeping with the Education Act, 1980, the Board of Management of a school may make a provisional appointment of a teacher who has joined the service for the first time. The duration of such an appointment shall not normally exceed three terms. During this time your work and professional competence should be assessed by your principal and supervisor, and discussed with you.   What is a permanent appointment? A permanent appointment will occur after your professional competence and work is assessed and deemed favourable to the school Board, Principal and your supervisor. The Education Act, 1980, clearly states that through a permanent appointment the holder enjoys security of tenure in the particular institution until retirement, unless his employment is terminated.   Teaching and Learning How can I help the child who is performing below his/her age and grade level? A number of factors may contribute to a child who is performing below his age and grade level. These include factors such as learning challenges, home support, emotional health and environmental conditions and poor instruction. Speak to the child’s parents and the Guidance Counsellor about your concerns. Make a referral for a formal assessment. For more information, please read the Resource Manual for Teachers of Students with Exceptionalities or contact the Special Education Unit at 922-2312.   How can I get my students to do their homework? Homework are tasks and assignments students complete at home. It is an excellent way of reinforcing and assessing what is taught at school, developing responsibility for learning and getting parents to participate in children’s education. Some homes however, are not conducive to getting homework done. If this is the situation, encourage the child to do his homework before he/she goes home. Talk to his/her parents about the importance of helping the child with his/her homework. Make sure the child understands what is required and the homework is exciting and interesting to do. Never use homework as a means of punishment, or a chance for student to complete work they did not finish in class. Always collect, discuss and mark the homework so that the child is recognised for his efforts.   How can I help students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder which includes inattention, disorganization, over-activity, procrastination and impulsivity. Children with ADHD are at greater risk of academic failure, psychological problem and other disorders which may go into adulthood, if they remain undiagnosed and untreated.The necessary treatment, strategies and resources therefore, must be provided to assist them. If a child in your class exhibits these symptoms, speak to his/her parent and recommend that he/she be assessed. In the interim you can assist the child with ADHD symptoms by:
  • Placing him/her at the front of the class
  • Helping him/her to arrange his/her desk
  • Be consistent with the application of rules
  • Providing him/her with extra time to complete tasks and respond to requests
  • Develop a to-do list to help him/her to keep organised
  • Make sure that the lessons are exciting and interesting
  • Use positive reinforcement
  • Encourage participation in extra-curricular activities, especially those which require physical dexterity
  • Encourage parents to exercise care with their children’s diet as research shows that some foods such as sugar, artificial preservatives and food colouring cause hyperactivity
 For more information please read the Resource Manual for Teachers of Students with Exceptionalities or contact the Special Education Unit at .   How can I help the gifted child?  A gifted child is one whose intellectual ability is significantly higher than the average student. These children can identify and solve problems very quickly, perform far above their age and grade level, are unusually curious, have excellent memory, rapid learning ability and are very observant. If a child exhibit signs of giftedness, you should first inform your school’s Principal and the child’s parent so that they can have him/her assessed. Identifying a child with giftedness should be done by a psychologist. You can help the gifted child by providing:
  • challenging work which requires critical thinking and reasoning,
  • opportunities for more extra-curricula activities
  • opportunities to learn by discovery, manipulating, experimenting, questioning, exploring & risk-taking
  • role models that are creative
  • accelerate and enrichment activities
Even though a child may be performing academically above his/her age, he/she may still act his/her normal age. You should provide him/her with the opportunities to interact with children in his/her age and cater to his/her emotional and social development   How can I get students to love Mathematics? Developing a love for Mathematics in children should start from an early age. Most students fail to do well in Mathematics because of poor teaching strategies, fear of the subject,  lack of educational materials to engage learning, and a failure to see its relationship to their daily lives. Mathematics concepts and skills, when taught, should be related to activities students do inside and outside the classroom. Promote Mathematics as an exciting and interesting subject to your students and provide opportunities for children to relate Mathematics to their environment. Integrate Mathematics in other subject areas and use educational materials which will make learning the subject more fun.   I am currently in possession of a textbook which I find very useful and have added it to my schools’ booklist. However, I was informed that it is not on the Ministry’s Approved Book List. What should I do? It is very important that the books placed on the schools’ book list are approved by the Ministry of Education, as many books, which are publicly criticized for having errors, are not on the Approved Textbook Lists. The Approved Primary and Secondary Textbook Lists consist of books which are reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Education. These books are thoroughly reviewed to ensure:
  • alignment to the curriculum
  • eighty percent (80%) coverage of the subject material
  • comprehensive approach to teaching and learning
  • appropriate level of instruction
  • suitability of design and layout
  • durability and cultural sensitivity
For more information, please contact the Media Services Unit at 924-9128/922-8035   How can I deal with the overbearing parent? The overbearing parent, may not be aware of his or her action. In most cases he/she is just enthusiastic about education and want his/her child to learn. Make sure that parents are clear on your protocols, policies, rules and objectives from the first week of the new school year. These rules should govern drop-off, dismissal procedure, helping with homework, visiting the school during school hours, dress code and parent-teacher consultations. Set appropriate boundaries and encourage parents to abide by them. Encourage parents to develop independent behaviour in children. Make sure that you always act professionally and confidently even when criticised.   What should I do if I suspect that a child is being abused or neglected? Speak to your school principal or guidance counsellor immediately. Make sure that you are very familiar with the signs of child abuse and neglect and always be on the look out for them. Cases of abuse, neglect or any situation which places a child in danger should not wait. Make sure that you know the protocol for mandatory reporting or abuse in your school. Regardless of what your school principal says, under the Child Care and Protection Act, any person who suspects that a child has been, or is likely  to be abandoned, neglected, physically or sexually ill-treated, or otherwise in need of care and protection, is obligated to make a report to the Children’s Registry at 908-0246/908-2132 or Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse(CISOCA) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force/Police at 926-4079. Failure to do so can result in the person facing a maximum penalty of $500,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment.   Salaries, Pensions and Bonding Where can I go to inquire about my salary? Please contact the Teachers’ Financial Services section of the Ministry of Education,Youth & Information or your respective Regional Office.   I have been offered a position to teach abroad, but I am currently serving a bond. What should I do? The Ministry of Education acknowledges that teachers are constantly looking for opportunities to improve themselves financially and academically. We are aware that Jamaica’s teachers are among the best in the world and many countries are currently recruiting them to teach in their education system. However, some of our teachers are bonded to teach in our system because they have gained study leave, scholarships, etc. Failure to honour your bond has cost the Government millions of dollars. If any teacher desires to work outside of Jamaica, or in the private sector he/she must fulfill all the requirements of the bond, or repay the portion that will not be served inclusive of interest calculated at 23% per annum. Contact your Regional Office immediately if you are still serving your bond, and wish to accept a teaching position overseas or want to work in the private sector.   What is the process involved in applying for my pension? Please read our web-page on pensions. This will provide you with all the information you need. Should you, however, have additional queries, please contact the Pension department at the Ministry’s Head Office.   Teachers’ Services I was unfairly dismissed by my school Principal. How can I appeal his decision? The Ministry of Education, Youth & Information encourages school leaders, Boards and educators to resolve all concerns or issues in an objective, professional and amicable manner. Teachers who breach  the Ministry’s Regulations can be dismissed by the School’s Board of Management in accordance with the Ministry’s Education Act (1980). Please contact the Teachers’ Appeals Tribunal of the Teachers Service Commission which addresses the appeal of Teachers who contest disciplinary decisions by Board of Management.   Do I need a lawyer to represent me when I attend a hearing at the Teachers’ Appeals Tribunal? Teachers have a right to representation. Therefore, you can indeed bring a lawyer along with you at the hearing. You can also ask your union, the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, to represent you. However, you also have the option of representing yourself at the Hearing.   If I am not satisfied with the decision of the Teachers’ Appeals Tribunal, what options do I have? If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Teachers’ Appeals Tribunal you can seek recourse in the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court has a higher legislative jurisdiction than the Teachers’ Appeals Tribunal and therefore, can rule on the decision of the Tribunal.   I have recently completed my studies at an accredited offshore university, however when I contacted the Ministry I was told my qualifications are being reviewed. Why is this done? Congratulations on the completion of your studies. Even though the institution you pursued your studies may be accredited, your qualifications must be examined by the Teachers’ Service Commission of the Jamaica Teaching Council. The Teachers’ Service Commission, through its Evaluation of Qualifications Committee, examines (transcripts and awards) of all teachers working in the public school system, to ensure that they meet the required standard of a teacher training programme, assigned status (compensation level) i.e. trained teacher, trained graduate and determine qualifications increments.   What are the educational requirements for a trained graduate teacher?  A trained graduate is a teacher who possesses an accredited Bachelor in Education, or a Teaching Diploma and a Bachelor’s Degree in a specific subject area, from an accredited institution.   I was recently told that degree is not accredited, how will this affect my compensation as a teacher in the public school system? Teachers are encouraged to ensure that the programmes that they pursue are accredited.  The Ministry’s policy does not support compensation for programmes that are not accredited.   How would I know which programmes are accredited? The University Council of Jamaica is the body responsible for accreditation in Jamaica.  You may contact the University Council of Jamaica directly or visit their website for a list of the programmes that are accredited.  The University Council of Jamaica also partners with international institutions and can guide you on the accreditation status of international institutions. You may also contact the Teachers’ Service Commission at the Jamaica Teaching Council for guidance.   How do I qualify for qualifications increments? Qualification increments are paid for accredited one-year programmes, however, this may vary.  Qualification increments are also paid to trained graduates who possess an accredited Masters Degree.   Principal Appointments How do I apply for a post as a Principal? Principal vacancies are posted on the Ministry’s website and the Career Section of the newspapers. Therefore, persons who are interested in applying for principal posts are encouraged to check both media.   What are the criteria for appointment as Principal? To be appointed as a Principal, a teacher is required to be a registered trained teacher with at least three years of approved service as a trained teacher, unless this requirement is varied in any particular case. The appointment process also includes an interview and selection process, by the School Board, submission of recommendation to the Teachers’ Service Commission and the approval by the Minister of Education.   Who shortlists the candidates for interviews? The short-listing of candidates for interviews is done by the Schools’ Board of Management from the list of persons who apply for the post of Principal within the specified time allotted, and who also meets the required criteria.   How would I know if I am selected as the candidate of choice? Teachers who are selected for appointment as Principal are informed in writing by the Chairman of the School Board, after the Board’s and the requisite documentation is reviewed and deliberated by the School Board and approved by the Minister.   Who determines if I am the successful candidate? The successful candidate for the post of Principal is determined through a tripartate and objective process which includes selection and recommendation by the School Board to the Teachers’ Service Commission, a review and discussion of the documents by the Teachers’ Service Commission, and approval by the Minister of Education.   What recourse do I have if the selection process for a Principal post was not objective? Teachers’ who can prove that the interview process was bias are encouraged to submit a report to the Teachers’ Service Commission for review. This report must be submitted before the Minister signs the final approval.