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Cuba proposes to fill Jamaica’s teaching shortage

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As Jamaica’s educational system is being shaken by resignations, Cuba is proposing to send teachers there. This semester, over 1,000 teachers have left the system in search of higher-paying positions in nations including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East.

Fermin Quinones Sanchez, Cuba’s ambassador to Jamaica, told a newspaper that his nation is prepared to help if and when the government requests it.

The diplomat stated that Cuba has “no restrictions” regarding whatever requests the Jamaican government and ministry of education might make to keep funding the educational system.

There are over 100 Cuban teachers in the Jamaica school system most of whom teach Spanish, but the Diplomat said his country can offer teachers in the sciences as well as in dealing with children with special needs.

“We mentioned some time ago to the Jamaican government of the possibility to expand the cooperation of the bilateral agreement to tackle some special needs of children with certain disabilities that need some kind of support,” the ambassador said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer Newspaper.

He added that Cuba has been developing special needs skills over many, many years, and now we have teachers who are well prepared to work with children with special needs.

“Cuba is ready to participate in such a programme if it is the request, of course, by the Jamaican government,” Ambassador Sanchez said.

Education Minister Fayval Williams was quoted in a ministry statement last week, as saying that sudden resignation of scores of teachers and the employment of new teachers at short notice, the ministry had to “implement new mechanisms to ensure that new teachers are paid in the month of September.

“Under normal circumstances, for a teacher to be paid in a particular month, the employment documents must be submitted by the last working day of the previous month. For example, to be paid in September, all relevant employment documents must be submitted to the ministry by the last working day in the month of August.

“However, given that many of the new teachers were employed this month [September], the ministry extended the deadline for submission to September 12 and deployed the accounting staff to work overtime and on weekends to process the submissions.

The statement from the education ministry said 1,155 teachers had joined the sector in time for the new school year.











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