The University of Technology, UTECH, is concerned that the Jamaica Teaching Council Bill in its current form could worsen the country’s shortage of specialist teachers.

The legislation seeks to create a body to oversee and regulate the teaching profession.

Addressing a Joint Select Committee Tuesday afternoon, Dean at UTECH, Professor Shermaine Barrett, wants to know what provisions will be put in place to address the shortage caused by the qualification requirements.

Chevon Campbell reports.

The University of Technology says it’s not questioning the need for professional standards in the teaching profession.

However, Professor Barrett is taking issue with the requirements to become registered, she says they could limit the number of available teachers.

She also notes that the bill does not directly address lecturers at the tertiary level who do not have a first degree in education but whose basic qualifications would exceed the standard.

The UTECH dean also notes that without an efficient and speedy registration process teachers could be tempted to operate without a license.

She’s also questioning if the government will cover the cost of professional teacher development.