August 20, 2014
Dear Members of JISA,
Greetings to all of you and I hope that you are all having a very restful and productive summer.
We are about to enter into the 2014-2015 school year. In fact, some of you will be starting the new school term next week Monday – 25th of August, some have already started with their Grade 6 classes; and I want to encourage you to expect a very productive and fruitful year.
The current economic climate in Jamaica has presented some severe challenges for private education leaders. I know that it has not been easy and unfortunately, some of our colleagues have already informed me that they will not be reopening their doors in September. The closure of private schools is not good news for this country during a time when the public school system is in many cases, not the best option for the children of Jamaica.
Even though it is not always recognized, we as leaders of private educational institution do play a very important role in the building of the nation. I was very disappointed when the Honorable Minister of Education failed to mention private school education even once, during the 2014 – 2015 Sectoral Presentation, even though several references were made about the public schools and persons involved in that sector. However, we have to go past those kinds of experiences and continue the excellent contribution which we are making in the building of this nation.
This year, the JISA executive is determined to continue the work of raising the profile of private education in Jamaica. We intend to find ways of presenting value to all of the members of JISA. We intend to reach out to our teachers, our parents and to our students. We intend to persevere with the mandate of establishing values-based education as a key platform for powerful nation-building and I hope that we will get the support of all of our members.
In light of the social crisis which is currently facing Jamaica, this is an important time for the leaders of private education to come together and collaborate. If not now, when? If not us, then who? Let us be mature, go past the issues which may be in the way and come together to build a better tomorrow for our children. As school leaders, we are powerfully positioned to make an impact in the affairs of this nation so let us awaken the potential which God has placed within.
The JISA 2014-2015 program begins with the JISA National Teachers’ Conference which will be conducted on August 25th – 26th at the Madge Saunders Conference Center in Ocho Rios. You have been asking for it. The information has been sent to you. It is now time for you to act. I am looking forward to strong representation from your individual schools.
In closing, I would like to leave with you the following quote from the Bible:
Proverbs 3: 5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct[a] your paths.
Best regards and I will see you soon,
Pastor Wesley Boynes.