Good results are linked to good teaching
Stabroek News
September 5, 2001

Dear Editor,

What is it that makes a school a good school? How is it that not so long ago we had so many good schools? What changed West Ruimveldt Primary from an almost unknown school to one of the much sought after good schools? Why do some students continue to do well despite various odds? The answer to all of these questions is simply - teachers! Yes, it is the teacher, not elaborate structures that makes a school what it is! Good results are always linked to good teaching - whether in or out of 'the system,' yet the relevant authorities choose to ignore this fact, and good teachers, tired of eking out an existence continue to leave 'the system' and the country! I know for a fact that come September, many good teachers will be missing from their desks!

I call to mind when I first started teaching many, many years ago, how much I appreciated the guidance given me by mature and experienced teachers. Today, young and inexperienced teachers are being thrown into the classrooms (thank God for them anyway!) with little or no guidance, as the mature and experienced ones have left or are leaving. Imagine a trained graduate teacher heading a department of a leading secondary school, working tirelessly even beyond the call of duty, taking home $35,000.00 (thirty-five thousand dollars) and having to pay a rent of $40,000.00 - what a national disgrace! Is she supposed to eat, (let's forget her children for now) pay bills, mortgage, and buy basic necessities? Is she supposed to have domestic help? (By the way, some domestics get the same amount!) When will the authorities wake up and give teachers their due? Teachers' salaries must be at least tripled if we are to once again have many good schools. But no one wants to rock the boat, so we continue to lose our teachers and inevitably, our children!

It is not a shortage of school buildings that is posing a problem. In SN, Monday, August 20, 2001, page 10 it was said that the Chief Education Officer attributed the intensity of placement problems partly "to the need for additional schools to be built particularly in the Georgetown district." No Sir! Put well paid and motivated teachers in our existing schools and the revolution will begin! Do I hear someone ask 'from where do we get the money to pay teachers...?' Ask the Brazilian miners!

Incidentally, I am part of the exodus for survival.

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address provided)