Health insurance, travel discounts & gift vouchers among benefits rolled out for teachers
Eula Gildari is a primary school teacher from Region One (Barima- Waini); this is one of the hinterland regions in Guyana where there are substantial challenges- including access to resources and technology- that affect the delivery of education.
Still, Gildari says that her aim is to work hard and ensure that she can “make Guyana a better place” by educating the nation’s children.
On Wednesday, Gildari was one of the dozens of teachers who gathered at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown for the launch of the Ministry of Education’s Teachers’ Welfare and Support Programme.
As part of this programme, specialist at the Ministry of Education Olato Sam said that more than 150 business entities have already signed up to provide some discounts, vouchers or relief to teachers in all regions of Guyana.
Some of these benefits include discounts on travel in Guyana by plane or buses, vouchers for clothing and footwear businesses and health insurance packages for teachers and their children.
“(This is) very much needed in our region because from time to time, teachers, we find (ourselves) struggling in different areas and I know that these initiatives will do us well,” Gidlari said.
Importantly, accompanying the rollout of these benefits is the establishment of a ‘teachers’ benevolence fund’. Sam explained that this fund is meant to provide financial support to teachers when they are confronted by hardships from time to time.
Chief Education Officer (CEO) Dr. Marcel Hutson said that this welfare programme was created with the aim of making the lives of teachers much easier since they work diligently to educate the nation’s children.
“It is only natural that we strategically find tangible ways that we support them in the execution of their responsibilities,” Hutson remarked.
These sentiments were echoed by the Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, who emphasised that the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the immense value of teachers and face-to-face learning.
Importantly, she said that the ministry would work towards providing more benefits to teachers, while supporting their professional development.
During a cabinet outreach to Region Two (Pomeroon- Supenaam) last weekend, President Dr. Irfaan Ali told residents that his government was focusing on providing a menu of benefits including scholarships and houses in addition to salary improvements.