Ministry of Education, Guyana

28 Apr The teachers’ multi-year agreement

Published in From the Minister's Desk Read 3131 times

 

The recent inking of the multi-year remuneration package between the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachers’ Union represents yet another demonstration of the government’s commitment to improve the lot of teachers in recognition of their important role in national development.

The administration has long recognized that the progress of the country hinges on the progress made in education and teachers have a central role to play in this important process.

The level of progress envisioned by the government can only be achieved through industrious and committed teachers, who of course, are at least satisfactory remunerated for their services and the new agreement reached by the two parties has not neglected this issue.

It is pleasing to note that apart from the five per cent salary increase across the board for all categories of teachers effective from January this year; they will also be receiving a host of other non-salary benefits.

What is also important to note, is that the agreement brings to an end an unfair tradition that has been with the profession for a long time. No longer will a teacher who has been in the system for years receive the same salary of a teacher of the same status who has recently joined the profession.

Some $50M or one per cent of the teachers wage bill has been set aside for this new scheme which is expected to be implemented by May month end.

It is not surprising that a figure no lesser than the President of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), Collin Bynoe most  fittingly hailed the multi-year package “a giant lead forward” taking into consideration the plethora of non-salary benefits for teachers, the economic status quo of the country and the increase teachers in other Caribbean territories receive.

These non-salary benefits inter alia includes an annual clothing allowance of $8,000.00 per annum, an annual allocation of $40M for the Housing Revolving Fund for the next five years to facilitate the construction of houses for teachers, the granting of return air fare/bus fare at the end of each school term where applicable for teachers who have left their residence on the coastland to serve in the hinterland, a 50% increase on Station and Hardlying allowances, the payment of Whitley Council leave allowance to eligible teachers at the end of the month in which they qualify for such payment and the granting of 30 scholarships per year tenable at the University of Guyana to teachers sponsored by the Government of Guyana  in accordance with the programmes approved by the Ministry of Education

Education Minister Shaik Baksh has also disclosed that over the life of the agreement, 100 duty-free concessions for motor-cars up to 1800 cc will be granted to headteachers.   All terrain vehicles  (ATV’s) and  outboard engines up to 75 H.P. will also be made available annually to all eligible headteachers as well as deputy  headteachers of Grade A schools who have served at least three years in their position and would have at least five years residence service remaining before retirement.

These benefits clearly reflect the administration’s thrust to not only improve the welfare and working conditions of teachers but also aid in their professional upgrade as all teachers will be receiving a salary increase for improving their qualifications.

The protracted deal reached also serves as a major boost in the push to motivate teachers to work harder, perform better and to enjoy a measure of comfort to stay and serve their country.

Guyana needs this level of commitment and dedication on the part of teachers to get value for the billions of dollars that it pours into the education sector year after year to improve students’ performance, enhance teachers’ welfare and to provide modern classroom facilities.

This aside, the announcement by Minister Baksh that priority will be given to teachers of the sciences and mathematics in the awarding of the scholarship is also a both timely and welcoming gesture that will see the training of more graduates in these areas. This measure will go a far way in addressing the shortage of teachers in these two subjects and perhaps will even push the government to shelve the proposal to recruit overseas teachers to impart these two disciplines.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 09:38
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