Edu. Ministry remains ready to re-engage Teachers’ Union


The Ministry of Education says it remains ready and willing to engage the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) as the strike action enters its third week.

Chief Education Officer, Saddam Hussain told the News Room in an invited comment on Sunday night that prior to the strike action, the GTU was already in discussions with the ministry and there was an agreement for the two sides to meet on the third Wednesday of every month.

“As a matter of fact, when we met on January 31, we agreed to meet (with the Union) on the third Wednesday of every month and the next meeting was scheduled for February 21,” the CEO said.

He further noted that the ministry remains open to continuing this already established procedure of meeting and engaging the Union.

“The Ministry of Education has always said it is committed to meeting some of the demands of the teachers and the government remains committed to improving the welfare of the teachers,” the CEO said.

President Dr Irfaan Ali last week noted that the government will create the region’s “best welfare package” for teachers but he urged them to be patient.

Led by APNU+AFC Parliamentarian, Coretta McDonald, the teachers are striking over their disappointment about talks on salary increases and other issues.

But Hussain, in a letter, noted that talks were still ongoing with the GTU and since then, over 20 changes were implemented by the Ministry for the benefit of teachers.
They include:
1. The removal of the Child Development Index Card (CDIC) as a required school document.
2. The removal of the General Scheme of Work as a curriculum document.
3. The weekly preparation of lesson plans rather than daily.
4. All trained teachers being eligible to be a Senior Assistant Master/Mistress after 6 years rather than 7.
5. 50 duty free teachers per year PLUS the granting of a duty-free concession to all senior teachers who have 3 years left to serve and have not received a concession previously.
6. All teachers being provided termly with grants to purchase teaching materials.
7. All CPCE pre-service trainees being paid $90 000 rather than a $10 000 stipend per month except a trainee teacher refuses same.
8. The Ministry of Education requested the Teaching Service Commission and the School Board Secretariat to do 2 senior promotion cycles per year so that more teachers can be promoted and earn a higher salary.
9. A general waiver letter to allow teachers to travel abroad without collateral.
10. The issuance of one waiver letter to cover the teacher’s contracted period.
11. The holders of the Technical Teachers’ Certificate as being appointed as Assistant Master/Mistress.
12. The creation of more senior vacancies in nursery, primary and secondary schools.
13. The reduction in teaching periods for secondary teachers.
14. The assignment of an assistant teacher to senior teachers in primary and nursery schools.
15. The appointment of floating teachers to schools to reduce the workload and substitute for teachers who are absent.
16. The implementation of the EMIS system which will eliminate most aspects of manual record keeping.
17. An Open Day policy which is held centrally and regionally to address teachers’ concerns.
18. The appointment and upgrade of all teachers who attended UG without official release and permission before, during and after the COVID – 19 pandemic.
19. A reduction in the number of teaching practice for CPCE teachers.
20. The institution of a digitalized senior promotion process.
21. A simplification in the Teacher Upgrade Process after improved qualifications.
22. The substitution of the head teachers’ monthly report with a reduced digital version.
23. A waiver for the issuance of the permanent trained teachers’ certificate.
24. The placement of guidance and counselling officers in secondary schools to assist with the disruptive behaviour of students.
25. The continuous placement of a data entry clerks in each school to assist with digital record keeping.
26. The removal of the quota system to attend UG.
27. The introduction of a Teacher Support Unit within the Ministry of Education.

1 Comment
  1. habeeb says

    Be patient, Pres. Ali has plans for the teachers: They will all be on Welfare soon.
    Free from the State of Guyana, compliments of Pres. Ali.
    Thereafter, one by one, others will be placed in Welfare by the State if only they are patient
    and don’t go on strike.

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