Ministry of Education, Guyana

05 Oct Teachers’ development

Published in From the Minister's Desk Read 3200 times

Teachers play an influential role in the life of every student. They are like beacons of light, guiding us in the formative years of our life. Teachers mould us and in the process and shape our future. What we learn from our teachers remains with us, throughout our life. In essence, the work of dedicated and committed teachers is priceless

This quality has been fully recognised by the government, and is evident by the continuous interventions to improve the welfare and working conditions of teachers throughout the country.

Testimony to the fact was the recent inking of the multi-year remuneration package between the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachers’ Union. Undoubtedly, the agreement brokered by the two parties represented another demonstration of the government’s commitment to improve the lot of teachers in recognition of their important role in national development.

The current administration has long recognised 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 satisfactorily remunerated for their services.

Apart from the five per cent salary increases across the board for all categories of teachers which was made effective from January this year; teachers today receive a host of non-salary benefits as the administration seeks to incentivize the system.

These include an annual clothing allowance of $8,000.00 per annum, an annual allocation of $40 million 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 per cent increase on station and hardline allowances, 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

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.

These interventions also serve 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.

Apart from remuneration and benefits, the Ministry of Education has taken several bold steps to improve the quality of education delivery in the classroom. The Associate Degree in Education stands out in this regard among the numerous interventions to upgrade teachers in Mathematics, English, the sciences and other subject areas. This noble profession is geared at positively molding and shaping the lives of children, both boys and girls to be future leaders. Even though Guyana has made significant strides in achieving gender equality, there is need for more males in the teaching profession.

As Guyana observes World Teacher Day 2011 under the theme: “Teachers for gender equality”, greater attention should be paid to the call from Education Minister Shaik Baksh for more males to join the teaching profession.

On this important occasion, we salute our teachers who work tirelessly to make a real difference in the lives of our children. Indeed, as foster parents, social workers and role models, they are the window through which our children see their future.

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