Teach in Jamaica
Jamaica maintains a personality uniquely separate from its neighbouring Caribbean islands. With a world-renowned music scene, an acutely African attachment, and an esteemed culinary history, teaching in Jamaica will plant teachers right in the middle of a distinct culture with a strong global presence.
Teaching in Jamaica
The education system in Jamaica may differ from what international teachers are used to, though it is undergoing an initiative to enhance students’ literacy and math skills. Six years of education in Jamaica are compulsory and free—these years are considered primary education (between the ages of 6 and 12). These schools can be state-owned or private schools.
Options for teaching in Jamaica
Because of the educational reform in Jamaica, many adults are now interested in returning to school to upgrade their qualifications or to learn new vocational skills. This is creating more opportunity for international teachers to teach subject-specific material in Jamaica.
Vocational colleges – The National Training Agency oversees the state vocational training centers and private academies in Jamaica. These schools offer programs that zero in on Jamaica’s focused, educational needs in more technical career paths, including esthetician training, agriculture, construction skills, and technology. Teachers with relevant vocational experience may find interesting opportunities through vocational colleges.
Universities and community colleges – Jamaica has 5 universities and many community colleges, some state-owned and some privately funded.
Salary and benefits when teaching in Jamaica
The salary for teaching in Jamaica can vary depending on qualifications and experience, but the average salary is between $44,000 - $50,000 USD. The cost of living in Jamaica is moderate, so most educators will find that they are able to live comfortably and enjoy the lifestyle.
What you need to teach in Jamaica
Qualifications for teaching in Jamaica vary, though most positions will require teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree. The certification process may vary from that of North America or the UK, though teachers that have a valid teaching license will be offered a more competitive salary. The more experience that teachers have, the more likely they will be to be successful in securing a position.
Teachers interested in teaching overseas in Jamaica will need a work visa. Many schools will sponsor international teachers and ESL teachers in order to obtain their visa.
Living in Jamaica
Jamaica is the fifth-largest island country in the Caribbean Sea and, though small, has much to offer in the way of sights and sounds. Rich in culture, one of Jamaica’s greatest claims to fame may be its world-renowned music scene. Teachers interested in entrenching themselves in a locale with a distinct culture and personality will find no shortage of things to do after work and during vacation in Jamaica. With plenty of sunshine, sandy beaches, and top-notch reefs, teachers will enjoy the added history and culture that Jamaica proudly calls its own.
Things for teachers to do in Jamaica
Teachers looking for a place of variety will find just that in Jamaica: there are great hiking opportunities, unspoiled waterfalls and swimming holes, sleepy fishing villages where you can join on an expedition, not to mention cosmopolitan cities with great nightlife.
As the birthplace of reggae, Jamaica has a thriving music scene with many famous sites. Visit Nine Mile—the birthplace of Bob Marley—to find the Bob Marley Mausoleum, where Marley is now buried. The Mausoleum also houses many of Marley’s historical artifacts including guitars, awards, and photographs. The most-visited attraction in Jamaica’s capital city, Kingston, remains the Bob Marley Museum, which comprises the home and studio where Marley lived and recorded from 1975 until his death.
The Blue Mountains, the tallest point in Jamaica at 2,256 metres above sea level, are known to produce some of the world’s best coffee and also boast some of the best hiking terrain in the country. If you’re interested in taste-testing some of the coffee produced in the mountains, visit the Craighton Coffee Estate, just north of Newcastle, for a tour of the 200-year-old coffee plantation.
For a weekend getaway, visit Ocho Rios north of Kingston, a popular destination for beach-goers. Ocho Rios feature some of the world-class reefs to which Jamaica lays claim and the 600-ft Dunn’s River Falls, where visitors can climb right up the falls to reach the summit.
TEFL Certification for Private School Teachers
Many private schools in Jamaica require applicants to possess a TEFL certificate. The University of Toronto’s TEFL Online Certificate can help you become a leading candidate for some of the top Jamaican private school positions.
Jamaica at a Glance
Capital - Kingston
Language - English/Jamaican Patois
Population - 2,889,187
Currency - Jamaican dollar (JMD)
Government - Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
- Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western world.
- Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean.
- Jamaica is the home of Reggae music - and the home of the world’s most famous Reggae artist, Bob Marley.
- With the exception of the United States, Jamaica has won the highest number of Olympic medals.
- Jamaica was the first Caribbean country to launch a website - www.jamaicatravel.com - in 1994.
- Although commonly spoken throughout Jamaica, Jamaican Patois is not a written language.
- Jamaicans drive on the left-hand side of the road.