Last Updated on Friday, 23 June 2023, 13:13 by Denis Chabrol
President Irfaan Ali on Thursday announced that public school teachers are to have a minimum salary dating back to 2020, and teachers living quarters across Guyana would be upgraded at a cost of GY$11 billion.
“We are considering now, looking from when we came into office from 202o to now, to ensure that within that period that all our teachers are on a standard basic minimum wage; a standard basic wage for the teachers. That is t0 avoid the disparity that exists and we’re going to correct that from 2020 to now as we’re in office,” he said in his address at the official opening of the Abram Zuil Secondary School, Queenstown, Essequibo Coast.
He said government was also considering providing incentives to specialist teachers in a range of areas, all aimed at building an “ecosystem” in education that supports the holistic development of Guyana’s children.
The President said government representatives would be going “right across the country to speak to teachers directly” but he gave no indication if those discussions would include the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU).
Dr Ali’s announcement came about three weeks after the Guyana Teachers Union had held picketing a demonstration outside the Ministry of Finance. The President no made mention about those talks with the union.
Emerging out of a conditional survey and assessment, the President said government would be going t0 the National Assembly shortly for approval of GY$11 billion to rehabilitate, retrofit and maintain teachers quarters, especially those in the hinterland, to bring them to the “minimum standard”. “”In our next supplementary provision, we are going to go to have a chunk of these resources ready to support this investment of GY$11 billion across the country,” he said.
In Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), he also said that government was working on a programme to ensure all teachers could be trained through a digitised platform and further they could pursue Masters degrees through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL). “That means that our children would have better qualified teachers, more knowledgeable teachers, teachers who can deliver in a better way to the children. What that redounds to is better results so it is a perfect marriage between physical facilities, institutional reorganisation and human resource development,” he added.