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The Teachers Of Jamaica…Are Seen As Among The Best In The World…But Teachers Cannot Continue To Scrape By, Unable To Meet Their Basic Needs.

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“Hundreds who have left so far have done so through three of seven agencies which are actively recruiting Jamaican teachers. There are many others who have probably gone and I don’t know yet. You will have plenty more leaving and I will not say to a teacher, don’t leave. If you care, demonstrate that you care and pay the teachers properly. Teachers remain severely undervalued here, even though they are touted by other countries to be among the world’s best. There is a severe shortage of teachers worldwide [and] the teachers of Jamaica…are seen as among the best in the world. Two countries told me personally that Jamaica and the Philippines have the best quality trained teachers, but the Jamaican teachers are ahead because the teachers speak English properly, while the Filipinos, though they speak English, their accent makes it difficult. Therefore, the recruiters will be coming to Jamaica to get as many as possible from us; people are saying if they don’t want to stay in the classroom, why they don’t go. Well we are taking their advice,”

Winston Smith President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association

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Leadership Voices

I Don’t Want People To Take The Light From These Magnificent Athletes

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“Wah me want the people dem fi understand now, they have been doing so well and achieving big things, so we having a big Independence celebration and I want to take this time to say congrats to all a the athlete dem wah a win the gold and the silver and the bronze and everything, and everybody that took part in the World Championships. Big up the Reggae Girlz that made it to the World Cup again. The netball team, my gosh, they are doing so well. I don’t want to talk and leave out anybody, but they really are doing tremendously well. it’s not only the achievements of our athletes that have made us proud, but also their spreading of Jamaican culture. If you realise they have been bringing [our culture] with them wherever they go – dem a dance a the podium, dem a dance when dem win, dem a carry the culture fi real. I don’t want people to take the light from these magnificent athletes that are doing what they supposed to do and making us feel so proud,”
Kemar Christopher Dwaine Ottey aka Ding Dong.

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We Will Disrupt Ourselves Rather Than Being Disrupted.

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“We will disrupt ourselves rather than being disrupted. We have learned the lessons from Blockbuster and Kodak film. Hence, we are determined that the transformation of our business model will remain within our control. I expect financial technology or fintech apps like Lynk to reduce the cost of doing business while improving the quality of service. Many of these transactions on Lynk are free of cost, so it reduces cost to serve both for the institutions and consumers. From a convenience perspective they can do [transactions] any place and any time and do not have to wait on the opening of a branch. So we see significant shifts. I see it as a facilitator of future trends and the way we have to go.”
NCB Financial President & CEO Patrick Hylton

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Leadership Voices

If Teachers Are Going To The US They Have To Be Licensed, If They’re Going To Canada, They Have To Be Licensed

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“There is no cause for alarm at this point. Teachers leave the system every year for reasons such as retirement. In any given year, between five and seven per cent of teachers are on their earned leave, for example, which means that there is always a need for temporary and permanent replacement teachers. I am not aware of the specific numbers who are leaving the system due to migration. So there is turnover in the sector, but to date, I’m not seeing where it’s out of line with anything that we would have seen in other years. If that number changes as we move further into August, then it would be an update. But as far as I can see we have gone through the normal process of approving leave for persons who are eligible to go on their leave [and] teachers who retire. I have not seen any numbers that would cause alarm at this time. As for the anxiety of teachers surrounding the JTC Bill, which a joint select committee of Parliament started discussions on last in February, I have pointed out that even for those who leave, there is no escaping similar requirements for licensing. If teachers are leaving because of that, the environment into which they are going has a similar regime. If they’re going to the US they have to be licensed, if they’re going to Canada, they have to be licensed [but] I haven’t heard that there is any particular departure as a result of the upcoming passing of the JTC Bill. The focus must now be turned to the upcoming school year to ensure that all preparations are in place for students to return. The ministry will again renew its efforts to bring back students to the classroom, which it has not been able to account for, since 2020.”

Education Minister Fayval Williams

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What We Are Going Through Now Is A Category Five Hurricane

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“I could liken what we are going through now as a category five hurricane, that’s what it is. If we had not taken the steps that we have, what do you think inflation would be in Jamaica? If we had not raised interest rates, not tightened liquidity, not closed down the banks net open positions (NOPs), where do you think inflation would be today? You could start at an exchange rate at, call a number, $170, $175. Do you know what impact that has on inflation? If everybody could get Jamaican dollars cheap because rates are low and then buy US dollars with it and then migrate their investments with it, where do you think inflation in Jamaica would be? So whilst, the results are not what we want them to be, in that we have 10.9 per cent [inflation rate], it’s better than the 15 per cent, 17 per cent or 20 per cent that we might have had, had we not taken the steps that we have. Until someone can convince me that had we done nothing, had we left interest rates low, that we would be better off, then, until then I believe we are in a better place than we may have been had we not pursued the policies that we had. Believe you me, in the MPC we agonise about it and as we have left the 0.5 [per cent] behind and gone to 5 [per cent] and 5.5 [per cent], it becomes even more agonising as to whether we go any further or not.”

“It’s not a decision we take lightly. It’s not a textbook issue. A lot of real life experiences and feedback come into whether we move rates or we don’t,”

Richard Byles, governor of the Bank of Jamaica speaking at Parliament’s Standing Finance Committee referring to the inflationary environment that has gripped the world as commodity prices skyrocket, in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.

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Leadership Voices

The Real Issue Here Is Consumer Finance Protection

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“The real issue here is consumer finance protection which has been absent from Jamaica for a long time. Now, you’ll recall we passed a Bill in the House of Parliament that provides consumer finance protection to customers of microcredit institutions because that’s where the problem was most egregious. We are now turning our attention to providing consumer protection for financial services customers more broadly. There will be an avenue for complaints to be heard. Today, if you make a complaint, the regulatory authority, the BOJ, is not empowered by law to do anything as far as consumer protection is concerned. They are empowered by law if somebody breaks a regulation, but those regulations tend to be macroprudential regulations and not how you treat customers. People will be able to lodge complaints to a central authority, have those complaints addressed and have punitive action against financial institutions if on investigation of those complaints that action is justified. Today, that is not possible,”

“the BOJ, is not empowered by law to do anything as far as consumer protection is concerned.”

Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance.

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