Teachers Should Be Accessible 24-Hours

As an Erstwhile Pre-trained Teacher, and someone seriously considering re-entering the formal teaching system, I would like to share some of my ideas that I strongly believe will contribute to a successful Educational Transformation throughout our Jamaican schools.

Our education system, specifically Primary and Secondary, in Jamaica has been sliding down hill for about twenty-five (25) years now due to a myriad of debilitating factors such as Elevated Student Indiscipline, Incompetent Parenting, Lackadaisical Teaching, Headless Government Policies, and a Decline in Students’ Self Worth and Purpose for School. In order for the ‘powers that be’ to appear as if they are doing something significant in repairing and transmogrifying the education system, they try their endeavour best to reduce our curriculum standard to that of the United States of America by watering down the curriculum complexity, critical thinking component, and grading scheme.

This method of concealing the true state of our education quagmire makes the stakeholders and students look better than they really are, because the ‘powers that be’ would be able to compile and publish statistics showing that students are passing more external examinations (GSAT, CXC, & GCE) at high grades. However, what they cannot conceal at the end of the day is the fact that—and this is based on my observation of workers and persons I interact with on a daily basis—there are so many persons with high external exam grades who are completely clueless in effectively applying such knowledge via Critical Thinking within a year or two after graduating from school. Why? Is this what they call true education?

  
Image Source: jamaica-gleaner.com
Image Source: jamaica-gleaner.com

For me, complexity in curriculum standard is no different from teaching a person how to fish by forcing that person to understand and appreciate the concepts, equipment, and reasoning skills required for completing a successful fishing trip. Simplification, on the other hand, is the total opposite of the aforementioned; because it only allows that person to memorize that he/she needs to go to a fisherman (replace fisherman with Google, Books, Someone, etc.) to collect fish every time he/she needs a fish—replace fish with Solutions to problems and situations via Critical Thinking. My swimming teacher at prep school pushed me in the deep end of the pool in order to boost me to use the techniques he taught me to swim; and it worked perfectly.

With the above foundation clearly laid, I will now move straight into what I mean by teachers being accessible 24-Hours. Since it is obvious that students in this modern generation have frequent access to internet, social media, and technological devices such as computers and smart phones, teachers who really care about educating their students can start by setting up a specific account or group on Facebook for educating students on a 24-Hour basis. Students would be able to access their teacher’s assistance at any time of the day, even when school is on summer holiday and the teacher is at home being paid to relax.

The teacher can then use his/her Facebook account or group to post images, video clips, notes, & assignments relevant to the topics and subject areas; and parents or guardians can be added to the teacher’s friend list so that they can monitor their child’s academic performance while communicating with the teacher. Students are far more intelligent than we think they are; and the real things that are necessary for Maximum Learning and Critical Thinking is for students to understand and accept the purpose of going to school (TO LEARN), and for the teachers to bring the information to students via all methods of communication, by collaborating with parents and guardians.

This is the Educational Transformation we need.

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Jamaican Highlander
6 years ago

Very good read. Our education system does need a revamping I believe. No need to simplify what is being taught. It effectively dumbs down our students.

Anonymous
5 years ago

Why don’t you wait and teach for about 3 years and then really tell us what you have done to make changes and suggest others try it your way? Even a little research with evidence would help to support your ideas. It is a shame all these educators and professionals in the system are so clueless after so many years, and here you are with the solution. Maybe you need to know the difference between performing physically and mentally before using a physical performance such as fishing or swimming as an example for “critical thinking” which is a mental task.… Read more »

Karen Goodall
5 years ago

lol…..”teachers get paid to relax on summer holidays”….this is laughable. Teachers do not get paid in the summer that is why most have “summer jobs”. If they do get a check in the summer that means they took less pay during the school year for money to be set aside and saved up for the summer. They are only paid for the hours they work….not a penny more.

Sandra Murray
5 years ago

All hell would bruck loose if this person should become the Minister of Education……So what…. teachers have no other life except a professional one?…… so nothing must be done at home and teachers must have no time for themselves but to have students bombarding them with school work right throughout day and night……. Hahahahahaha This must be a damn sick joke… why don’t you do as you are saying……I would gladly round up some students so that you get no rest… not even for a minute and if you survive it you could come back online and tell us how… Read more »

Cathalena Henry
5 years ago

I’m not sure about this suggestion. If you’ve ever spent any time in the classroom, you would know that teachers need those school holiday periods to ‘recuperate’ and prepare themselves physically, mentally and emotionally for the new school semesters. Teachers also need their personal time off’s from student involvement in order to remember that they are individuals with a personal life and their own families to care for. The major purpose in education is to build that potential that the student comes with….to use what has been gathered in the classroom to develop their self-empowering skills. To get to a… Read more »

Jamaican Highlander
5 years ago

Very good read. Our education system does need a revamping I believe. No need to simplify what is being taught. It effectively dumbs down our students.

Jamaican Highlander
5 years ago

Very good read. Our education system does need a revamping I believe. No need to simplify what is being taught. It effectively dumbs down our students.

Maroon Books
5 years ago

As you have stated the JA education system needs revamping in various areas. You have also indicated that that the American ed. system has impacted the JA ed system negatively. I think one of the major issues is that the JA system is a little behind in teaching methodology for the 21st century because of funding, among other reasons. JA teachers are some of the best, but they could take their kids learning to another level with current Professional Development opportunities. You mentioned the lack of the use technology and critical thinking skills in the classroom. Here are a few… Read more »

Maroon Books
5 years ago

I see that the teacher has those children working individually. Is this still like back in the day? They need some groups for collaborative work. Methods again.