JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is looking to start a Staff Wellness Programme for teachers and school administrators, following preliminary discussions with the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA).
Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said the programme is being considered against the background of the recent sudden death of Spanish Town High teacher, Shanorayo Hemmings-Neil, as well as other potential stress factors, including financial stressors, family issues and serious health conditions.
“With conditions such as these, a staff-wellness programme becomes an essential need. A teachers’ wellness programme, therefore, means support for their physical, emotional and professional well-being,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing, held today (November 9), at the Office of the Prime Minister.
Senator Reid said supporting the well-being of school employees by promoting healthy behaviours at school and at home will foster a culture of health among staff.
Meanwhile, the Minister extended condolences to the family and colleagues of Mrs. Hemmings-Neil, who collapsed at a National Standards Curriculum Workshop at Central High School in Clarendon and later died at hospital.
He also extended condolences to the families of two students who died while participating in sporting activities over the past months.
The Minister said the Ministry has responded by agreeing to promote the policy of screening of student athletes before they participate in sporting activities. He said this is already a feature of the Ministry’s Safety and Security Policy.
Senator Reid said he will also be meeting with the school administrators and Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) to have further discussion on the matter.
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid