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Friday, May 12, 2006 

Ministry to invite tenders to manage $500-m education loan fund

Observer Reporter

Friday, May 12, 2006

MONTEGO BAY, St James - The Ministry of Education will next week invite tenders for the management of the $500-million revolving education loan fund for teachers to upgrade their qualifications.

The fund, which the government sourced from the National Housing Trust's $5-billion drawdown, will allow teachers to borrow money at a low interest rate to fund their studies and repay the loans when they have finished studying.

"The advertisements will be out next week," Jamaica Teachers' Association president Ruel Reid told the more than 300 teachers who turned up at the Wyndham Rose Hall Hotel here to participate in the JTA's Helen Stills Professional Development Day, yesterday.

The event, staged on the Thursday of Education Week each year, is in its 10th year.
Reid, who lobbied for the fund when he assumed the presidency of the JTA last year, told the teachers that the JTA was working towards raising the standard of the teaching profession to the point where entry would be restricted to those without the requisite qualifications.

Reid said, too, that the JTA was working towards establishing a new scale for teachers who hold Masters degrees.

"We are the largest professional group of any profession in the world. we can't have just about any and everybody being designated a teacher, we have to raise the bar and set the standard in terms of training," he said.

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