JTA Calls for Employer-Sanctioning; Hiring Unlicensed Teachers

The JTA is calling for the new JTC Bill to add a provision that allows employers to be fined for hiring unlicensed teachers. The Association’s Attorney Julian Mowatt was vocal during this week’s committee meeting, where he suggested the fine be reduced for persons practicing without license. The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) has proposed that employers, including the government should be held liable for hiring unlicensed teachers.

The suggestion was made during the joint select committee meeting on Thursday, as Attorney Mowatt noted the unlicensed practitioners should not be the only ones held accountable. As it stands, the Jamaica teaching council’s bill fines persons a minimum of five hundred thousand dollars for teaching without a license. Mowatt is urging for there to be a fine for employers who hire unlicensed teachers.

She’s also moving for there to be a revision of the other fines outlined in the bill, as she says the fine must match the offence. She’s suggesting the five hundred thousand dollar fine for teaching without a license be reduced to two hundred thousand, but agrees with the figure for fraud. Meanwhile, she dismisses a provision that allows the council to suspend a registered, licensed teacher or instructor upon them being charged with a disqualifying offence. 

Reporter: Velonique Bowen