Education: Teachers’ Unethical Behaviour in Jamaican Schools

Teachers and their unethical behavior in Jamaican schools have been tolerated for too long. Many forget that ethical guidelines are important and necessary to curb such unethical, unprofessional, and deviant behaviors.

Ineffective Teachers in Jamaica

bad teachers

Many Jamaican teachers at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels act like having professional ethics is a practice from the 19th century. A fallacy, I am certain; but my studies are proving that at some point trained teachers were exposed to them. It should be a requirement for all Jamaican teachers to get a copy of the Code of Regulations or Code of Ethics for Teachers. The stories are numerous about the physical, emotional, and psychological abuse experienced by Jamaican learners.

We did an exercise in Psychology of Teaching and Learning class; everyone had several stories to share about the unethical behavior of Jamaican teachers.

All my classmates had a story of physical abuse at the primary level. Teachers throwing books on the ground, tearing books in half, calling students dunce or dum dum, slapping students in their backs, beating students with fan belts, ignoring students, and teaching only the ‘bright’ students in their class.

There were several stories of Jamaican teachers not teaching during class time and children would have to do extra-lessons just to learn, which they pay extra. All for a lesson that should have been taught during the day. It is a shame that not many checks and controls are in place to erode such behavior.

This is the educational culture in Jamaican schools and often it is condoned by the principals themselves.

Education and Ethics

Some of the areas we looked at in Perspectives in Education class included:

  • What are ethics?
  • What ethical responsibilities does a teacher have to a:
    • child
    • parent
    • school
    • colleagues
    • community

This was very interesting as we were divided into four groups and each developed ethical guidelines for one of these areas.


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