Chairman of the PNP’s Education Commission, Elaine Foster Allen, is describing as dangerous what she sees as attempts by the government to censor educators who seek to criticize education policy.
Mrs. Foster Allen takes issue with a concept document outlining a draft Political Code of Conduct for educators.
Education Minister Ruel Reid confirmed with Nationwide News last week that the Ministry is attempting to create such a code. He says it’s necessary to protect the profession and the educators themselves from charges of misconduct.
However, Mrs. Foster Allen herself a retired Permanent Secretary, says a quasi-political code already exists for civil servants. She likened the Education Ministry’s document to similar attempts by fascist dictator Bonito Mussolini and communist dictator Joseph Stalin.
Mrs. Foster Allen says the PNP would never encourage anyone to make statements that are defamatory. She says during her years as a civil servant at no point did she act inappropriately.
Mrs. Foster Allen says the criticism of the education sector by educators over the years has contributed positively to nation building.
Elaine Foster Allen was speaking yesterday at media conference at the PNP’s Old Hope Road headquarters.
President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, JTA, Dr Garth Anderson, is also raising concerns about the necessity of the Education Ministry’s draft Political Code of Conduct for educators.
Dr Anderson says he was surprised to hear the document is to be promulgated.
He says there are more important issues that the Ministry could seek to address.