BVI News

Several job ads for educators raise questions about teacher shortage

File photo of a pre-COVID meeting with local educators

With nearly two dozen vacancies for educators being advertised in recent weeks, questions are being raised on whether the British Virgin Islands is experiencing a shortage of teachers.

Before applications closed last Friday, May 7, the Ministry of Education had job openings for two school principals and assistant principal, two teacher assistants, and a staggering 14 teachers to serve in various subject disciplines.

Most of the educators being sought were for the primary level.

The job adverts have since been pulled from the government’s website and it is not clear how many of those positions have been filled so far.

Teacher turnover nothing new

BVI News recently invited Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley to comment on whether there was indeed any teacher shortage locally or if educators have been resigning since the COVID-19 pandemic that has severely affected education sectors across the world.

The minister did not explicitly say whether there was a shortage but rather underscored that “the education system in the BVI and around the world is a system which is constantly in need of teachers”.

“There is a growing population of students in the public school system that create the need for more teachers. There are teachers who leave the profession to further their education. There are teachers due to return from their studies who have delays due to COVID-19. There are persons who leave the profession for personal reasons. Teacher turnover is nothing new and there are many reasons for it,” Dr Wheatley explained.

He added: “We are about to relaunch our Teacher Education Programme at the HLS Community College to provide avenues into the teaching profession. During Education Week, we sought ways to appreciate our teachers. We have many challenges to overcome in the system, and I will continue to make improvements to the system.”

What’s happening in the US

Over in the United States, there are widespread reports that schools around the country are scrambling to find replacements as several teachers opt out of returning to the classroom because of COVID-19.

And according to the Associated Press, schools have been lowering certification requirements to help get substitutes, in some cases.

This compilation of screenshots captured on April 29, 2021 shows list of openings advertised for educators on the government’s official website.

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  1. Lol says:

    We have dunce mark on our forehead. Instead of answering the question, he telling us what the world need.

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  2. Hard says:

    It’s also not like the youth of today have much respect for their teachers and elders these days

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  3. Teacher says:

    Teachers seeing it’s better to farm and fish.

    Like 22
  4. Lmao says:

    Now looking to hire the uneducated to educate our children. Can’t make this shit up. The only way you lift yourselves out of the Third World is by spending money and hiring the best and brightest to teach your little dummies. However the adult dummies are too stupid and uneducated so they don’t understand this. Also it would mean hiring “clears” but you would rather your children remain stupid than doing that.

    Like 4
    Dislike 10
    • @Lmao says:

      You could not put a toe in a shoe in one of our least uneducated third world teachers..

      You couldn’t create, execute or realize the objectives from a lesson plan if your feeble existence depended on it.

      Your first world education has taught you to be ainane and obtuse supremist of the worst kind, obviously.

  5. Resident says:

    Nobody wants to be honest with the real issues in our education system.
    1.Teachers’morale is at an all time low. Those who have not reached retirement years/age are counting down their remaining years.
    2.Nobody listens to the challenges with some administrators but as soon as a teacher does anything, he or she is sent all over the globe and not given a listening ear. These days were coming.
    3.Teachers salaries are already low, yet we are expected to spend those few dollars to enhance our class rooms. Then, we are told to teach for the outcome not the income.
    4.When last have teachers gotten a raise in salary. Students you have taught are working for way more money than their teachers because nobody really cares about teachers. Check the salary of teachers here versus the U.S.A.
    5.Teachers often do not feel appreciated by many stakeholders such as the ministry, parents and some principals.
    6. The students and their parents is another issue.

    Like 18
    Dislike 3
    • Ex-Teacher says:

      These are just some of the issues that is causing teachers to leave. The way how teachers are treated and the schools are being functional needs some serious attention. You have to love teaching to do it. You cannot survive and provide for your family on a teachers salary. The fight for the teachers is very weak from an upper level. Minister come and go but if the cabinet doesn’t agree the teachers will remain in the struggle “teking death!” I would like to go back to teaching but a lot of things need to be revised and changed. Trust me if a lot of teachers had other options to get another Job, they would be LONG GONE!

  6. Natalio is a ... says:

    L**r 🤥

  7. Question, USA says:

    Can a Teacher with TEACHING CREDENTIALS from the USA teach public school in the BVI?

    • @Question, USA says:

      I guess the answer is NO since no one responded to your question or know how to respond to your question. Maybe we do need some American Teachers with American Teaching Credentials to teach in the BVI Public School System.

    • Read says:

      Yes. There are several teachers in the system already who have received their Teacher Training and degrees from the US. There are more systemic issues at play here and globally. Generally teachers are undervalued and underpaid. Many parents have only been made to understand how difficult teaching is since the covid lockdowns. Do not just blame our system – education should and must be overhauled globally.

  8. Jr. Gong says:

    Reminds me of this song:

    Educated fools they have ruined di world
    And start make it hard for both di boys and di girls
    Dem steal all the Africans diamonds and pearls
    And start bank it up inna federal reserves
    And then Rasta f**k it up and insight riot
    Warn dem fi cool and we did warn dem fi quiet
    Now dem hear the kick drum di snare and di hi hat

  9. New normal says:

    Teaching children and young adults is often a thankless job. Fortunately technology is releasing teachers from this task so they can teach adults who want to learn. Teaching children is usually glorified babysitting. Young adults already know everything so teaching is redundant.

  10. Lol says:

    Hahahaha only two option is left here
    Being in the expats who are well educated
    Or employ the dunce tolans to teach
    Hahahahah this island is a laughing stock to the world
    The get a saying
    Never curse the bridge you have to cross
    Ayo looking like idiots

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
    • Big Sis says:

      Why you don’t shut your craw and go back where you come from. You all like to criticize us but you all still here.

  11. @lol says:

    I hope the expat you are talking about does not write and spell like you.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  12. Outta here says:

    It ls not just education that is losing workers. We’ll start seeing big gaps all over. I know 8 people leaving for good. Vincent Wheatley, you’ll get your wish! Fill the gaps with the people you say need jobs! Oh, wait, they don’t have the education/training/expertise/knowledge to do the job. Oops.

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