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Teacher Expresses Confidence in Education System

A long-serving educator is expressing full confidence in the Jamaican education system to produce high achievers in the classroom and to tangibly address the welfare of teachers.

According to Accounts teacher in the Business Department at the Jonathan Grant High School in Spanish Town, Sonia Lyons-Gayle, who was recently awarded for 35 years’ service at the institution, she has experienced education systems overseas, and the working conditions are not always the best.

“I want to encourage the teachers who are in the system, especially those who have just started, that it is a very noble profession. Persons are going elsewhere but the students need the teachers to guide them on the right path of life. Although the money might be nice, the task is not easy with those [overseas] children,” she told JIS News.

“It is easier for me to deal with Jamaican students, and I love it here at Jonathan Grant; it is my home. It is an excellent school, the teachers are great, and we take on students like they are our children,” Mrs. Lyons-Gayle added.

She said teaching has allowed her to meet very important persons in the society and has also enabled her to aid in moulding the lives of scores of nation-builders.

Mrs. Lyons-Gayle said the award has made her “very happy, knowing that my contribution has been appreciated”.

Another teacher at the school, Josephine Nelson, was also recognised for 35 years of service to the institution.

“We can make it if we try hard enough, and I am comfortable. It is a pleasure being a teacher, and I love the profession. It keeps you alive; it is my passion,” she said.

Ms. Nelson described the award as “encouraging, and it motivates the teachers to do more”.

Krisan Thomas, who is in her third year as a teacher at her former high school, was awarded for being Form Teacher of the Year (Shift B).

“It shows that I am doing better than I had thought, and it is going to push me further. It is not easy, but we are here for a reason, and there are lives to be impacted, and the students are depending on us,” Miss Thomas said.

Meanwhile, Principal of the School, Dr. O’Neil Ankle, reported that after difficulties caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the school is “on an upward trajectory”.

“Jonathan Grant is moving in the right direction. Yes, we have much to do, yet it is a good look,” the Principal told the audience.